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Author of " The Four Million," " The Voice of the 

City," " The Trimmed Lamp," " StricUy 

Bueinese," *' Whirligigs," Etc. 

Garden City New Yopk 






Copyright, 1904» by 
i>anbleday« Page & Company 





^ The time has come/' the Walrus said, 

" To talk of many things; 
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax. 

And cabbages and kings/' 




The Proem: By the Carpenter • • • 3 

i. " fox-in-the-morning " 11 

II. The Lotus and the Bottle • • • 25 

III. Smith 44 

IV. Caught 62 

V. Cupid's Exile Number Two .... 82 

VI. The Phonograph and the Graft . . 92 

VII. Money Maze 113 

VIII. The Admiral ISO 

IX. The Flag Paramount 144 

X. The Shamrock and the Palm . . .161 

XI. The Remnants of the Code . • .189 

XII. Shoes 204 

XIII. Ships 219 

XIV. Masters of Arts 233 

XV. Dicky 258 

XVI. Rouge et Noir 278 

XVII. Two Recalls 293 

XVIII. The Vitagraphoscope 307 




1 HEY will tell you in Anchuria, that President 
Miraflores, of that volatile republic, died by his own 
hand in the coast town of Coralio; that he had 
reached thus far in flight from the inconveniences of 
an imminent revolution; and that one hundred thou- 
sand dollars, government funds, which he carried with 
him in an American leather valise as a souvenir of 
his tempestuous administration, was never afterward 

For a real, a boy will show you his grave. It is 
back of the town near a little bridge that spans a 
mangrove swamp. A plain slab of wood stands at its 
head. Some one has burned upon the headstone with 
a hot iron this inscription : 







4 Cabbages and Kings 

It is characteristic of this buoyant people that they 
pursue no man beyond the grave. " Let God be his 
judge ! " — Even with the hundred thousand unfound, 
though greatly coveted, the hue and cry went no 
further than that. 

To the stranger or the guest the people of Coralio 
will relate the story of the tragic end of their former 
president; how he strove to escape from the country 
with the public funds and also with Dofia Isabel 
Guilbert, the yoimg American opera singer ; and how, 
being apprehended by members of the opposing po- 
litical party in Coralio, he shot himself through the 
head rather than give up the funds, and, in conse- 
quence, the Senorita Guilbert. They will relate 
further that Dona Isabel, her adventurous bark of 
fortune shoaled by the simultaneous loss of her dis- 
tinguished admirer and the souvenir hundred thou- 
sand, dropped anchor on this stagnant coast, await- 
ing a rising tide. 

They say, in Coralio, that she found a prompt and 
prosperous tide in the form of Frank Goodwin, an 
American resident of the town, an investor who had 
grown wealthy by dealing in the products of the coun- 
try — a banana king, a rubber prince, a sarsaparilla, 
indigo, and mahogany baron. The Senorita Guil- 
bert, you will be told, married Senor Goodwin one 

The Proem 5 

month after the president's death, thus, in the very 
moment when Fortune had ceased to smile, wresting 
from her a gift greater than the prize withdrawn. 

Of the American^ Don Frank Goodwin, and of his 
wife the natives have nothing but good to say. Don 
Frank has lived among them for years, and has com- 
pelled their respect. His lady is easily queen of what 
social life the sober coast affords. The wife of the 
governor of the district, herself, who was of the proud 
Castilian family of Monteleon y Dolorosa de los 
Santos y Mendez, feels honoured to unfold her nap- 
kin with olive-hued, ringed hands at the table of 
Seiiora Goodwin. Were you to refer (with your 
northern prejudices) to the vivacious past of Mrs. 
Goodwin when her audacious and gleeful abandon 
in light opera captured the mature president's fancy, 
or to her share in that statesman's downfall and mal- 
feasance, the Latin shrug of the shoulder would be 
your only answer and rebuttal. What prejudices 
there were in Coralio concerning Senora Goodwin 
seemed now to be in her favour, whatever they had 
been in the past. 

It would seem that the story is ended, instead of 
begun ; that the close of a tragedy and the climax of 
a romance have covered the ground of interest ; but, 
to the more curious reader it shall be some slight in- 

6 Cabbages and Kings 

struction to trace the close threads that underlie the 
ingenuous web of circumstances. 

The headpiece bearing the name of President 
Miraflores is daily scrubbed with soap-bark and sand. 
An old half-breed Indian tends the grave with fidelity 
and the dawdling minuteness of inherited sloth. He 
chops down the weeds and ever-springing grass with 
his machete, he plucks ants and scorpions and beetles 
from it with his horny fingers, and sprinkles its turf 
with water from the plaza fountain. There is no 
grave anywhere so well kept and ordered. 

Only by following out the underlying threads will 
it be made clear why the old Indian, Galvez, is 
secretly paid to keep green the grave of President 
Miraflores by one who never saw that unfortunate 
statesman in life or in death, and why that one was 
wont to walk in the twilight, casting from a distance 
looks of gentle sadness upon that unhonoured 

Elsewhere than at Coralio one learns of the im- 
petuous career cf Isabel Guilbert. New Orleans gave 
her birth and the mingled French and Spanish Creole 
nature that tinctured her life with such turbulence 
and warmth. She had little education, but a knowl- 
edge of men and motives that seemed to have come by 
instinct. Far beyond the common woman was she 

The Proem 7 

endowed with intrepid rashness, with a love for the 
pursuit of adventure to the brink of danger, and with 
desire for the pleasures of life. Her spirit was one to 
chafe under any curb ; she was Eve after the fall, but 
before the bitterness of it was felt. She wore life as a 
rose in her bosom. 

Of the legion of men who had been at her feet it 
was said that but one was so fortunate as to engage 


her fancy. To President Miraflores, the brilliant 
but unstable ruler of A^churia, she yielded the key to 
her resolute heart. How, then, do we find her (as the 
Coralians would have told you) the wife of Frank 
Goodwin, and happily living a life of dull and dreamy 
inaction ? 

The underlying threads reach far, stretching across 
the sea. Following them out it will be made plain 
why " Shorty " O'Day, of the Columbia Detective 
Agency, resigned his position. And, for a lighter 
pastime, it shall be a duty and a pleasing sport to 
wander with Momus beneath the tropic stars where 
Melpomene once stalked austere. Now to cause 
laughter to echo from those lavish jungles and frown- 
ing crags where formerly rang the cries of pirates' 
victims ; to lay aside pike and cutlass and attack with 
quip and jollity; to draw one saving titter of mirth 
from the rusty casque of Romance — this were pleas- 

8 Cabbages and Kings 

ant to do in the shade of the lemon-trees on that coast 
that IS curved like lips set for smiling. 

For there are yet tales of the Spanish Main. That 
segment of continent washed by the tempestuous 
Caribbean, and presenting to the sea a formidable 
border of tropical jungle topped by the overweening 
Cordilleras, is still begirt by mystery and romance. 
In past times buccaneers and revolutionists roused the 
echoes of its cliiFs, and the condor wheeled perpetually 
above where, in the green groves, they made food for 
him with their matchlocks and toledos. Taken and re- 
taken by sea rovers, by adverse powers and by sudden 
uprising of rebellious factions, the historic 300 miles 
of adventurous coast has scarcely known for hundreds* 
of years whom rightly to call its master. Pizarro, 
Balboa, Sir Francis Drake, and Bolivar did what they 
could Id make it a part of Christendom. Sir John 
Morgan, Lafitte and other eminent swash-bucklers 
bombarded and pounded it in the name of Abaddon. 

The game still goes on. The guns of the rovers 
are silenced ; but the tintype man, the enlarged photo- 
graph brigand, the kodaking tourist and the scouts of 
the gentle brigade of fakirs have found it out, and 
carry on the work. The hucksters of Germany, 
France, and Sicily now bag its small change across 
their counters. Gentlemen adventurers throng the 

The Proem 9 

waiting-rooms of its rulers with proposals for railways 
and concessions. The little opera-bouffe nations play 
at government and intrigue until some day a big, si- 
lent gunboat glides into the offing and warns them not 
to break their toys. And with these changes comes 
also the small adventurer, with empty pockets to fill, 
light of heart, busy-brained — the modem fairy 
prince, bearing an alarm clock with which, more 
surely than by the sentimental kiss, to awaken the 
beautiful tropics from their centuries' sleep. Gener- 
ally he wears a shamrock, which he matches pride fully 
against the extravagant palms ; and it is he who has 
driven Melpomene to the wings, and set Comedy to 
dancing before the footlights of the Southern Cross. 

So, there is a little tale to tell of many things. Per- 
haps to the promiscuous ear of the Walrus it shall 
come with most avail ; for in it there are indeed shoes 
and ships and sealing-wax and cabbage-palms and 
presidents instead of kings. 

Add to these a little love and counterplotting, and 
scatter everywhere throughout the maze a trail of 
tropical dollars — dollars warmed no more by the tor- 
rid sun than by the hot palms of the scouts of For- 
tune — and, after all, here seems to be Life, itself, 
with talk enough to weary the most garrulous of 


C/ORALIO reclined, in the mid-day heat, like some 
vacuous beauty lounging in a guarded harem. The 
town lay at the sea's edge on a strip of alluvial coast. 
It was set like a little pearl in an emerald band. Be- 
hind it, and seeming almost to topple, imminent, 
above it, rose the sea-following range of the Cordil- 
leras. In front the sea was spread, a smiling jailer, 
but even more incorruptible than the frowning moun- 
tains. The waves swished along the smooth beach; 
the parrots screamed in the orange and ceiba-trees; 
the palms waved their limber fronds foolishly like 
an awkward chorus at the prima donna's cue to enter. 

Suddenly the town was full of excitement. A 
native boy dashed down a grass-grown street, shriek- 
ing : " Bibsca el Senor Goodwin. Ha venido un 
teligrafo por ell " 

The word passed quickly. Telegrams do not often 
come to anyone in Coralio. The cry for Senor Good- 
win was taken up by a dozen officious voices. The 


12 Cabbages and Kings 

main street nmning parallel to the beach became pop- 
ulated witli those who desired to expedite the delivery 
of the despatch. Knots of women with complexions 
varying from palest olive to deepest brown gath- 
ered at street comers and plaintively carolled : ** Un 
teUgrafo por Sefior Goodwin ! " The comandante, 
Don Senor el Coronel Encamaci6n Rios, who was 
loyal to the Ins and suspected Goodwin's devotion to 
the Outs, hissed : " Aha ! " and wrote in his secret 
memorandum book the accusive fact that Sefior Good- 
win had on that momentous date received a telegram. 

In the midst of the hullabaloo a man stepped to 
the door of a small wooden building and looked out. 
Above the door was a sign that read " Keogh and 
Clancy " — a nomenclature that seemed not to be in- 
digenous to that tropical soil. The man in the door 
was Billy Keogh, scout of fortime and progress and 
latter-day rover of the Spanish Main. Tintypes and 
protographs were the weapons with which Keogh 
and Clancy were at that time assailing the hopeless 
shores. Outside the shop were set two large frames 
filled with specimens of their art and skill. 

Keogh leaned in the doorway, his bold and humor- 
ous countenance wearing a look of interest at the 
unusual influx of life and sound into the street. When 
the meaning of the disturbance became clear to him 

'' FoX'in'the-Sforning '' 18 

he placed a hand beside his mouth and shouted: 
" Hey ! Frank ! " in such a robustious voice that the 
feeble clamour of the natives was drowned and silenced. 

Fifty yards away, on the seaward side of the street, 
stood the abode of the consul for the United States. 
Out from the door of this building tumbled Goodwin 
at the call. He had been smoking with Willard Ged- 
die, the consul, on the back porch of the consulate, 
which was conceded to be the coolest spot in Coralio. 

" Hurry up," shouted Keogh. " There's a riot in 
town on account of a telegram that's come for you. 
You want to be careful about these things, my boy. 
It won't do to trifle with the feelings of the public 
this way. You'll be getting a pink note some day 
with violet scent on it; and then the country'll be 
steeped in the throes of a revolution." 

Goodwin had strolled up the street and met the boy 
with the message. The ox-eyed women gazed at him 
with shy admiration, for his type drew them. He 
was big, blonde, and jauntily dressed in white linen, 
with buckskin zapatos. His manner was courtly, 
with a sort of kindly truculence in it, tempered by a 
merciful eye. When the telegram had been delivered, 
and the bearer of it dismissed with a gratuity, the re- 
lieved populace returned to the contiguities of shade 
from which curiosity had drawn it — the women to 

14 Cabbages and Kings 

their baking in the mud ovens under the orange-trees, 
or to the interminable combing of their long, straight 
hair; the men to their cigarettes and gossip in the 

Goodwin sat on Keogh's doorstep, and read his tele- 
gram. It was from Bob Englehart, an American, who 
lived in San Mateo, the capital city of Anchuria, 
eighty miles in the interior. Englehart was a gold 
miner, an ardent revolutionist and " good people." 
That he was a man of resource and imagination was 
proven by the telegram he had sent. It had been his 
task to send a confidential message to his friend in 
Coralio. This could not have been accomplished in 
either Spanish c :• English, for the eye politic in An- 
churia was an active one. The Ins and the Outs were 
perpetually on their guard. But Englehart was a 
diplomatist. There existed but one code upon which 
he might make requisition with promise of safety — 
the great and potent code of Slang. So, here is the 
message that slipped, unconstrued, through the fingers 
of curious officials, and came to the eye of Goodwin: 

" His Nib J skedaddled yesterday per jack-rabbit 
line with all the coin in the kitty and the bundle of 
muslin he's spoony about. The boodle is six figures 
Aort. Our crowd in good shape, but we need the 

" Fox-in'the-Moming ^^ 15 

spondulicks. You collar it. The main guy and the 
dry goods are headed for the briny. You know what 
to do. BOB.'' 

This screed, remarkable as it was, had no m^^stery 
for Goodwin. He was the most successful of the 
small advance-guard of speculative Americans that 
had invaded Anchuria, and he had not reached that 
enviable pinnacle without having well exercised the 
arts of foresight and deduction. He had taken up 
political intrigue as a matter of business. He was 
acute enough to wield a certain influence among the 
leading schemers, and he was prosperous enough to 
be able to purchase the respect of the petty office- 
holders. There was always a revolutionary party; 
and to it he had always allied himself; for the ad- 
herents of a new administration received the rewards 
of their labours. There was now a Liberal party 
seeking to overturn President Miraflores. If the 
wheel successfully revolved, Goodwin stood to win a 
concession to 30,000 manzanas of the finest cofl^ee 
lands in the interior. Certain incidents in the recent 
career of President Miraflores had excited a shrewd 
suspicion in Goodwin's mind that the government was 
near a dissolution from another cause than that of a 

16 Cabbages and Kings 

revolution, and now Englehart's telegram had come as 
a corroboration of his wisdom. 

The telegram, which had remained unintelligible to 
the Anchurian linguists who had applied to it in vain 
their knowledge of Spanish and elemental English, 
conveyed a stimulating piece of news to Goodwin's 
understanding. It informed him that the president 
of the republic had decamped from the capital city 
with the contents of the treasury. Furthermore, that 
he was accompanied in his flight by that winning ad- 
venturess Isabel Guilbert, the opera singer, whose 
troupe of performers had been entertained by the 
president at San Mateo during the past month on a 
scale less modest than that with which royal visitors 
are often content. The reference to the " jack-rab- 
bit line '* could mean nothing else than the mule-back 
system cf transport that prevailed between Coralio 
and the capital. The hint that the " boodle " was 
** six figures short " made the condition of the national 
treasury lamentably clear. Also it was convincingly 
true that the ingoing party — its way now made a 
pacific one — would need the ** spondulicks." Unless 
its pledges should be fulfilled, and the spoils held for 
,:he delectation of the victors, precarious indeed, would 
^je the position of the new government. Therefore it 

^^ Fox-in-ihe-Moming ^' 17 

was exceeding necessary to " collar the main guy,** 
and recapture the sinews of war and government. 

Groodwin handed the message to Keogh. 

"Read that, Billy," he said. "It's from Bob 
Englehart. Can you manage the cipher? " 

Keogh sat in the other half of the doorway, and 
carefully perused the telegram. 

" 'Tis not a cipher," he said, finally. " 'Tis what 
they call literature, and that's a system of language 
put in the mouths of people that they've never been 
introduced to by writers of imagination. The maga- 
zines invented it, but I never knew before that Presi- 
dent Norvin Green had stamped it with the seal of 
his approval. 'Tis now no longer literature, but lan- 
guage. The dictionaries tried, but they couldn't 
make it go for anything but dialect. Sure, now that 
the Western Union indorses it, it won't be long till 
a race of people will spring up that speaks it." 

" You^re running too much to philology, Billy," 
said Goodwin. " Do you make out the meaning of 

" Sure," replied the philosopher of Fortune. " All 
languages come easy to the man who must know 'em. 
I've even failed to misunderstand an order to evacuate 
in classical Chinese when it was backed up by the 
muzzle of a breech-loader. This little literary essay I 

18 Cabbages and Kings 

hold in my hands means a game of Fox-in-the-Mom- 
ing. Ever play that, Frank, when you was a kid? " 

" I think so," said Goodwin, laughing. *' You join 
hands all 'round, and — ^" 

" You do not," interrupted Keogh. " You've got 
a fine sporting game mixed up in your head with * All 
Around the Rosebush.' The spirit of * Fox-in-the- 
Moming ' is opposed to the holding of hands. FU 
tell you how it's played. This president man and 
his companion in play, they stand up over in San 
Mateo, ready for the run, and shout: 'Fox-in-the- 
Morning ! ' Me and you, standing here, we say : 
* Goose and the Gander ! ' They say : * How many 
miles is it to London town ? ' We say : * Only a few, 
if your legs are long enough. How many comes out? ' 
They say : ' More than you're able to catch.' And 
then the game commences." 

" T catch the idea," said Groodwin. ** It won't do 
to let the goose and gander slip through our fingers, 
Billy ; their feathers are too valuable. Our crowd is 
prepared and able to step into the shoes of the govern- 
ment at once ; but with the treasury empty we'd stay 
in power about as long as a tenderfoot would stick on 
an untamed bronco. We must play the fox on every 
foot of the coast to prevent their getting out of the 

'' FoiV'in'the-Morning ^^ 19 

" By the mule-back schedule," said Keogh, " it's 
five days down from San Mateo. We've got plenty 
of time to set our outposts. There's only three 
places on the coast where they can hope to sail from — 
here and Solitas and Alazan. They're the only points 
we'll have to guard. It's as easy as a chess problem 
— fox to play, and mate in three moves. Oh, goosey, 
goosey, gander, whither * do you wander ? By the 
blessing of the literary telegraph the boodle of this 
benighted fatherland shall be preserved to the honest 
political party that is seeking to overthrow it." 

The situation had been justly outlined by Keogh. 
The down trail from the capital was at all times a 
weary road to travel. A jiggety-joggety journey it 
was ; ice-cold and hot, wet and dry. The trail climbed 
appalling mountains, wound like a rotten string about 
the brows of breathless precipices, plunged through 
chilling snow-fed streams, and wriggled like a snake 
through sunless forests teeming with menacing in- 
sect and animal life. After descending to the foot- 
hills it turned to a trident, the central prong ending 
at Alazan. Another branched off to Coralio; the 
third penetrated to Solitas. Between the sea and 
the foothills stretched the five miles breadth of allu- 
vial coast. Here was the flora of the tropics in its 
rankest and most prodigal growth. Spaces here and 

20 Cabbages and Kings 

there had been wrested from the jungle and planted 
with bananas and cane and orange groves. The rest 
was a riot of wild vegetation, the home of monkeys, 
tapirs, jaguars, alligators and prodigious reptiles and 


insects. Where no road was cut a serpent could 
scarcely make its way through the tangle of vines 
and creepers. Across the treacherous mangrove 
swamps few things without wings could safely pass. 
Therefore the fugitives could hope to reach the coast 
only by one of the routes named. 

**Keep the matter quiet, Billy," advised Goodwin. 
" We don't want the Ins to know that the president is 
in flight. I suppose Bob's information is something 
of a scoop in the capital as yet. Otherwise he would 
not have tried to make his message a confidential one ; 
and, besides, everybody would have heard the news. 
I'm going around now to see Dr. Zavalla, and start a 
man up the trail to cut the telegraph wire." 

As Goodwin rose, Keogh threw his hat upon the 
grass by the door and expelled a tremendous sigh. 

"What's the trouble, Billy?" asked Goodwin, 
pausing. " That's the first time I ever heard you 

" 'Tis the last," said Keogh. " With that sorrow- 
ful puff of wind I resign myself to a life of praise- 
worthy but harassing honesty. What are tintypes. 

'' FoxAn'tlfie-Mormng '' 21 

if you please, to the opportunities of the great and 
hilarious class of ganders and geese? Not that I 
would be a president, Frank — and the boodle he's 
got IS too big for me to handle — but in some ways 
I feel my conscience hurting me for addicting myself 
to photographing a nation instead of running away 
with it. Frank, did you ever see the * bundle of mus- 
lin ' that His Excellency has wrapped up and carried 
off? " 

" Isabel Guilbert? " said Goodwin, laughing. " No, 
I never did. From what I've heard of her, though, 
I imagine that she wouldn't stick at anything to carry 
her point. Don't get romantic, Billy. Sometimes 
I begin to fear that there's Irish blood in your ances- 

" I never saw her either," went on Keogh ; " but 
they say she's got all the ladies of mythology, sculp- 
ture, and fiction reduced to chromos. They say she 
can look at a man once, and he'll turn monkey and 
climb trees to pick cocoanuts for her. Think of that 
president man with Lord knows how many hundreds 
of thousands of dollars In one hand, and this muslin 
siren In the other, galloping down hill on a sym- 
pathetic mule amid songbirds and flowers! And here 
is Billy Keogh, because he is virtuous, condemned to 
the unprofitable swindle of slandering the faces of 

22 Cabbages and Kings 

missing links on tin for an honest living ! 'Tis an in- 
justice of nature." 

" Cheer up," said Goodwin. " You are a pretty 
poor fox to be envying a gander. Maybe the en- 
chanting Guilbert will take a fancy to you and your 
tintypes after we impoverish her royal escort." 

" She could do worse," reflected Keogh ; " but she 
won't. 'Tis not a tintype gallery, but the gallery of . 
the gods that she's fitted to adorn. She's a very 
wicked lady, and the president man is in luck. But 
I hear Clancy swearing in the back room for having 
to do all the work." And Keogh plunged for the 
rear of the " gallery," whistling gaily in a spon- 
taneous way that belied his recent sigh over the ques- 
tionable good luck of the flying president. 

Goodwin turned from the main street into a much 
narrower one that intersected it at a right angle. 

These side streets were covered by a growth of 
thick, rank grass, which was kept to a navigable 
shortness by the machetes of the police. Stone side- 
walks, little more than a ledge in width, ran along 
the base of the mean and monotonous adobe houses. 
At the outskirts of the village these streets dwindled 
to nothing; and here were set the palm-thatched huts 
of the Caribs and the poorer natives, and the shabby 
cabins of negroes from Jamaica and the West Indifid 

'' Fox-in'the-Morning " 28 

Islands. A few structures raised their heads above 
the red-tiled roofs of the one-story houses — the bell 
tower of the Calaboza, the Hotel de los Estranjeros, 
the residence of the Vesuvius Fruit Company's 
agent, the store and residence of Bernard Brannigan, 
a ruined cathedral in which Columbus had once set 
foot, and, most imposing of all, the Casa Morena — 
the summer " White House " of the President of An- 
churia. On the principal street running along the 
beach — the Broadway of Coralio — were the larger 
stores, the government bodega and post-office, the 
cuartelf the rum-shops and the market place. 

On his way Goodwin passed the house of Bernard 
Brannigan. It was a modem wooden building, two 
stories in height. The ground floor was occupied by 
Brannigan's store, the upper one contained the living 
apartments. A wide cool porch ran around the 
house half way up its outer walls. A handsome, viva- 
cious girl neatly dressed in flowing white leaned over 
the railing and smiled down upon Goodwin. She was 
no darker than many an Andalusian of high descent ; 
and she sparkled and glowed like a tropical moon- 

" Good evening. Miss Paula," said Goodwin, taking 
off his hat, with his ready smile. There was little dif- 
ference in his manner whether he addressed women or 

24 Cabbages and Kings 

men. Everybody in Coralio liked to receive the salu- 
tation of the big American. 

" Is there any news, Mr. Goodwin ? Please donH 
say no. Isn't it warm? I feel just like Mariana in 
her moated grange — or was it a range ? — it's hot 

" No, there's no news to tell, I believe," said Good- 
win, with a mischievous look in his eye, " except that 
old Geddie is getting grumpier and crosser every day. 
If something doesn't happen to relieve his mind I'll 
have to quit smoking on his back porch — and there's 
no other place available that is cool enough." 

" He isn't grumpy," said Paula Brannigan, im- 
pulsively, " when he — ^" 

But she ceased suddenly, and drew back with a 
deepening colour ; for her mother had been a mestizo 
lady, and the Spanish blood had brought to Paula a 
certain shyness that was an adornment to the other 
half of her demonstrative nature. 



WiLLARD GEDDIE, consul for the United States 
in Coralio, was working leisurely on his yearly report. 
Goodwin, who had strolled in as he did daily for a 
smoke on the much coveted porch, had found him so 
absorbed in his work that he departed after roundly 
abusing the consul for his lack of hospitality. 

" I shall complain to the civil service department," 
said Goodwin ; — " or is it a department ? — perhaps 
it's only a theory. One gets neither civility nor serv- 
ice from you. You won't talk ; and you won't set out 
anything to drink. What kind of a way is that of 
representing your government ? " 

Goodwin strolled out and across to the hotel to see 
if he could bully the quarantine doctor into a game on 
Coralio's solitary billiard table. His plans were com- 
pleted for the interception of the fugitives from the 
capital; and now it was but a waiting game that he 
had to play. 

The consul was interested in his report. He was 


26 Cabbages and Kings 

only twenty-four ; and he had not been in Coralio long 
enough for his enthusiasm to cool in the heat of the 
tropics — a paradox that may be allowed between 
Cancer and Capricorn. 

So many thousand bunches of bananas, so many 
thousand oranges and cocoanuts, so many ounces of 
gold dust, pounds of rubber, coffee, indigo and sarsa- 
parilla — actually, exports were twenty per cent, 
greater than for the previous year! 

A little thrill of satisfaction ran through the consul. 
Perhaps, he thought, the State Department, upon 
reading his introduction, would notice — and then he 
leaned back in his chair and laughed. He was get- 
ting as bad as the others. For the moment he had 
forgotten that Coralio was an insignificant town in an 
insignificant republic lying along the by-ways of ? 
second-rate sea. He thought of Gregg, the quaran- 
tine doctor, who subscribed for the London Lancet^ 
expecting to find it quoting his reports to the home 
Board of Health concerning the yellow fever germ. 
The consul knew that not one in fifty of his acquaint- 
ances in the States had ever heard of Coralio. He 
knew that two men, at any rate, would have to read 
his report — some underling in the State Department 
and a compositor in the Public Printing Office. Per- 
haps the typesticker would note the increase of com- 

The Lotus and the Bottle 27 

merce In Coralio, and speak of it, over the cheese and 
beer, to a friend. 

He had just written: "Most unaccountable is 
the supineness of the large exporters in the United 
States in permitting the French and German houses to 
practically control the trade interests of this rich and 
productive country " — when he heard the hoarse 
notes of a steamer's siren. 

Geddie laid down his pen and gathered his Pan- 
ama hat and umbrella. By the sound he knew it to 
be the Valhalla^ one of the line of fruit vessels plying 
for the Vesuvius Company. Down to ninos of five 
years, everyone in Coralio could name you each in- 
coming steamer by the note of her siren. 

The consul sauntered by a roundabout, shaded 
way to the beach. By reason of long practice he 
gauged his stroll so accurately that by the time he 
arrived on the sandy shore the boat of the customs 
officials was rowing back from the steamer, which had 
been boarded and inspected according to the laws of 

There is no harbour at Coralio. Vessels of the 
draught of the Valhalla must ride at anchor a mile 
from shore. When they take on fruit it is conveyed 
on lighters and freighter sloops. At Solitas, where 
there was a fine harbour, ships of many kinds were to 

28 Cabbages and Kings 

be seen, but in the roadstead off Coralio scarcely any 
save the fruiters paused. Now and then a tramp 
coaster, or a mysterious brig from Spain, or a saucy 
French barque would hang innocently for a few days 
in the offing. Then the custom-house crew would be- 
come doubly vigilant and wary. At night a sloop or 
two would be making strange trips in and out along 
the shore; and in the morning the stock of Three- 
Star Hennessey, wines and dry goods in Coralio would 
be found vastly increased. It has also been said that 
the customs officials jingled more silver in the pockets 
of their red-striped trousers, and that the record 
books showed no increase in import duties received. 

The customs boat and the Valhalla gig reached the 
shore at the same time. When they grounded in the 
shallow water there was still five yards of rolling surf 
between them and dry sand. Then half-clothed Car- 
ibs dashed into the water, and brought in on their 
backs the ValhalWs purser and the Uttle native offi- 
cials in their cotton undershirts, blue trousers with 
red stripes, and flapping straw hats. 

At college Geddie had been a treasure as a first- 
baseman. He now closed his umbrella, stuck it up- 
right in the sand, and stooped, with his hands resting 
upon his knees. The purser, burlesquing the pitcher's 
Contortions, hurled ^X the consul the heavy roll of 

The Lotus and the Bottle 29 

newspapers, tied with a string, that the steamer al- 
ways brought for him. Geddie leaped high and 
caught the roll with a sounding " thwack.*' The 
loungers on the beach — about a third of the popula- 
tion of the town — laughed and applauded delight- 
edly. Every week they expected to see that roll of 
papers delivered and received in that same manner, 
and they were never disappointed. Innovations did 
not flourish in Coralio. 

The consul re-hoisted his umbrella and walked back 
to the consulate. 

This home of a great nation's representative was a 
wooden structure of two rooms, with a native-built 
gallery of poles, bamboo and nipa palm running on 
three sides of it. One room was the official apart- 
ment, furnished chastely with a flat-top desk, a ham- 
mock, and three uncomfortable cane-seated chairs. 
Engravings of the first and latest president of the 
country represented hung against the wall. The 
other room was the consul's living apartment. 

It was eleven o'clock when he returned from the 
beach, and therefore breakfast time. Chanca, the 
Carib woman who cooked for him, was just serving 
the meal on the side of the gallery facing the sea — 
a spot famous as the coolest in Coralio. The break- 
fast consisted of shark's fin soup, stew of land crabs, 

80 Cabbages and Kings 

breadfruit, a boiled iguana steak, aguacates, a 
freshly cut pineapple, claret and coflfee. 

Geddie took his seat, and unrolled with luxurious 
laziness his bundle of newspapers. Here in Coralio 
for two days or longer he would read of goings-on In 
the world very much as we of the world read those 
whimsical contributions to inexact science that as- 
sume to portray the doings of the Martians. After 
he had finished with the papers they would be sent 
on the rounds of the other English-speaking residents 
of the town. 

The paper that came first to his hand was one of 
those bulky mattresses of printed stuff upon which the 
readers of certain New York journals are supposed to 
take their Sabbath literary nap. Opening this the 
consul rested it upon the table, supporting its weight 
with the aid of the back of a chair. Then he partook 
of his meal deliberately, turning the leaves from time 
to time and glancing half idly at the contents. 

Presently he was struck by something familiar to 
him in a picture — a half-page, badly printed repro- 
duction of a photograph of a vessel. Languidly in- 
terested, he leaned for a nearer scrutiny and a view of 
the florid headlines of the column next to the picture. 

Yes ; he was not mistaken. The engraving was of 
the eight-hundred-ton yacht Idalia, belonging to 

The Lotus and the Bottle 81 

"that prince of good fellows, Midas of the money 
market, and society's pink of perfection, J. Ward 

Slowly sipping his black coffee, Geddie read the 
column of print. Following a listed statement of Mr. 
Tolliver's real estate and bonds, came a description of 
the yacht's furnishings, and then the grain of news no 
bigger than a mustard seed. Mr. Tolliver, with a 
party of favoured guests, would sail the next day on a 
six weeks' cruise along the Central American and 
South American coasts and among the Bahama Is- 
lands. Among the guests were Mrs. Cumberland 
Payne and Miss Ida Payne, of Norfolk. 

The writer, with the fatuous presumption that was 
demanded of him by his readers, had concocted a ro- 
mance suited to their palates. He bracketed the 
names of Miss Payne and Mr. Tolliver until he had 
well-nigh read the marriage ceremony over them. He 
played coyly and insinuatingly upon the strings of 
" on dit " and " Madame Rumour " and " a little 
bird " and " no one would be surprised," and ended 
with congratulations. 

Geddie, having finished his breakfast, took his pa- 
pers to the edge of the gallery, and sat there in his 
favourite steamer chair with his feet on the bamboo 
railing. He lighted a cigar, and looked out upon the 

82 Cabbages and Kings 

sea. He felt a glow of satisfaction at finding he was 
so little disturbed by what he had read. He told him- 
self that he had conquered the distress that had sent 
him, a voluntary exile, to this far land of the lotus. 
He could never forget Ida, of course ; but there was no 
longer any pain in thinking about her. When they 
had had that misunderstanding and quarrel he had im- 
pulsively sought this consulship, with the desire to re- 
taliate upon her by detaching himself from her world 
and presence. He had succeeded thoroughly in that. 
During the twelve months of his hfe in Coralio no word 
had passed between them, though he had sometimes 
heard of her through the dilatory correspondence with 
the few friends to whom he still wrote. Still he could 
not repress a little thrill of satisfaction at knowing 
that she had not yet married ToUiver or anyone else. 
But evidently Tolliver had not yet abandoned hope. 
Well, it made no difference to him now. He had 
eaten of the lotus. He was happy and content in this 
land of perpetual afternoon. Those old days of Kfe 
in the States seemed like an irritating dream. He 
hoped Ida would be as happy as he was. The climate 
as balmy as that of distant Avalon; the fetterless, 
idyllic round of enchanted days; the life among this 
indolent, romantic people — a life full of music, flow- 
ers, and low laughter; the influence of the imminent 

The Lotus and the Bottle 33 

sea and mountains, and the many shapes of love and 
magic and beauty that bloomed in the white tropic 
nights — with all he was more than content* Also, 
there was Paula Brannigan. 

Geddie intended to marry Paula — if, of cour<je, 
she would consent; but he felt rather sure that she 
would do that. Somehow, he kept postponing his 
proposal. Several times he had been quite to it; 
but a mysterious something always held him back. 
Perhaps it was only the unconscious, instinctive con- 
viction that the act would sever the la^t tie tliat bound 
him to his old world. 

He could be very happy with Paula. Few of the 
native girls could be compared with her. She had at- 
tended a convent school in New Orleans for two vears ; 
and when she chose to display her accompHshments 
no one could detect any difference between her and the 
girls of Norfolk and Manhattan. But it was delicious 
to see her at home dressed, as she sometimes was, in the 
native costume, with bare shoulders and flowing 

Bernard Brannigan was the great merchant of Co- 
ralio. Besides his store, he maintained a train of 
pack mules, and carried on a lively trade with the 
interior towns and villages. He had married a native 
lady of high Castilian descent, but with a tinge of 

84 Cabbages and Kings 

Indian brown showing through her olive cheek. The 
union of the Irish and the Spanish had produced, as 
it so often has, an offshoot of rare beauty and variety. 
They were very excellent people indeed, and the up- 
per story of their house was ready to be placed at the 
service of Geddie and Paula as soon as he should make 
up his mind to speak about it. 

By the time two hours were whiled away the consul 
tired of reading. The papers lay scattered about 
him on the gallery. Reclining there, he gazed dream- 
ily out upon an Eden. A clump of banana plants 
interposed their broad shields between him and the 
sun. The gentle slope from the consulate to the sea 
was covered with the dark-green foliage of lemon-trees 
and orange-trees just bursting into bloom. A lagoon 
pierced the land like a dark, jagged crystal, and above 
it a pale ceiba-tree rose almost to the clouds. The 
waving cocoanut palms on the beach flared their dec- 
orative green leaves against the slate of an almost qui- 
escent sea. His senses were cognizant of brilliant 
scarlet and ochres amid the vert of the coppice, of 
odours of fruit and bloom and the smoke from Chan- 
ca's clay oven under the calabash-tree; of the treble 
laughter of the native women in their huts, the song 
of the robin, the salt taste of the breeze, the diminu- 
endo of the faint surf running along Iht nhore — ati^- 

The Lotus and the Bottle 35 

gradually, of a white speck, growing to a blur, 
that Intruded Itself upon the drab prospect of the 

Lazily Interested, he watched this blur increase un- 
til it became the Idalia steaming at full speed, com- 
ing down the coast. Without changing his position 
he kept his eyes upon the beautiful white yacht as she 
drew swiftly near, and came opposite to Coralio. 
Then, sitting upright, he saw her float steadily past 
and on. Scarcely a mile of sea had separated her 
from the shore. He had seen the frequent flash of her 
polished brass work and the stripes of her deck-awn- 
ings — so much, and no more. Like a ship on a magic 
lantern slide the Idalia had crossed the illuminated 
circle of the consul's little world, and was gone. Save 
for the tiny cloud of smoke that was left hanging over 
the brim of the sea, she might have been an immaterial 
thing, a chimera of his idle brain. 

Geddie went Into his office and sat down to dawdle 
over his report. If the reading of the article in the 
paper had left him unshaken, this silent passing of 
the Idalia had done for him still more. It had 
brought the calm and peace of a situation from which 
all uncertainty had been erased. He knew that men 
sometimes hope without being aware of it. Now, 
since she had come two thousand miles and had passed 

86 Cabbages and Kings 

without a sign, not even his unconscious self need 
cling to the past any longer. 

After dinner, when the sun was low behind the moun- 
tains, Geddie walked on the little strip of beach under 
the cocoanuts. The wind was blowing mildly land- 
ward, and the surface of the sea was rippled by tiny 

A miniature breaker, spreading with a soft 
" swish " upon the sand brought with it something 
round and shiny that rolled back again as the wave 
receded. The next influx beached it clear, and Ged- 
die picked it up. The thing was^ a long-necked wine 
bottle of colourless glass. The cork had been driven 
in tightly to the level of. the mouth, and the end cov- 
ered with dark-red sealing-wax. The bottle contained 
only what seemed to be a sheet of paper, much curled 
from the manipulation it had undergone while being 
inserted. In the sealing-wax was the impression of a 
seal — probably of a signet-ring, bearing the initials 
of a monogram; but the impression had been hastily 
made, and the letters were past anything more certain 
than a shrewd conjecture. Ida Payne had always 
worn a signet-ring in preference to any other finger 
decoration. Geddie thought he could make out the 
familiar "IP"; and a queer sensation of disquietude 
went over him. More personal and intimate was this 

The Lotus and the Bottle 87 

reminder of her than had been the sight of the vessel 
she was doubtless on. He walked back to his house, 
and set the bottle on his desk. 

Throwing off his hat and coat, and lighting a lamp 
— for the night had crowded precipitately upon the 
brief twilight — he began to examine his piece of sea 

By holding the bottle near the light and turning it 
judiciously, he made out that it contained a double 
sheet of note-paper filled with close writing; further, 
that the paper was of the same size and shade as that 
always used by Ida ; and that, to the best of his belief, 
the handwriting was hers. The imperfect glass of 
the bottle so distorted the rays of light that he could 
read no word of the writing; but certain capital let- 
ters, of which he caught comprehensive glimpses, were 
Ida's, he felt sure. 

There was a little smile both of perplexity and 
amusement in Geddie's eyes as he set the bottle down, 
and laid three cigars side by side on his desk. He 
fetched his steamer chair from the gallery, and 
stretched himself comfortably. He would smoke 
those three cigars while considering the problem. 

For it amounted to a problem. He almost wished 
that he had not found the bottle ; but the bottle was 
there. Why should it have drifted in from the sea, 

88 Cabbages and Kings 

whence come so many disquieting things, to disturb 
his peace? 

In this dreamy land, where time seemed so redun- 
dant, he had fallen into the habit of bestowing much 
thought upon even trifling matters. 

He began to speculate upon many fancifiil theories 
concerning the story of the bottle, rejecting each in 

Ships in danger of wreck or disablement sometimes 
cast forth such precarious messengers calling for aid. 
But he had seen the Idalia not three hours before, safe 
and speeding. Suppose the crew had mutinied and 
imprisoned the passengers below, and the message was 
one begging for succour! But, premising such an 
improbable outrage, would the agitated captives have 
taken the pains to fill four pages of note-paper with 
carefully penned arguments to their rescue. 

Thus by elimination he soon rid the matter of the 
more unlikely theories, and was reduced — though 
aversely — to the less assailable one that the bottle 
contained a message to himself. Ida knew he was in 
Coralio; she must have launched the bottle while the 
yacht was passing and the wind blowing fairly toward 
the shore. 

As soon as Geddie reached this conclusion a wrinkle 
came between his brows and a stubborn look settled 

The Lotus and the Bottle 39 

around his mouth. He sat lrxj)ilng out thro-jgh ilte 
doorway at the gigantic fire-fl;e§ travertlr.g *h*: quiet 

If this was a message to him from Ida, wr^t could 
it mean save an overture toward a r^.-corj '-Illation? 
And if that, why had she not xVif-A t:.e ^arn^r u,f-^\ifxU 
of the post instead of this uncertain ar.d ev^n flippant 
means of communication? A note In an ^rfipty t-K/t- 
tie, cast into the sea! There wa^ -orr.'^h.'r.g ligKf, and 
frivolous about it, if not actually cont^f-Tr.p*'jotj«», 

The thought stirred his pride and %ijhd j<d wFiaf- 
ever emotions had been rei»urrected by the finding of 
the bottle. 

Geddie put on his coat and hat and walked out. 
He followed a street that led him alor.g the \}(}r(\(r of 
the little plaza where a band was playing and people 
were rambling, care-free and indolent. Some timor- 
ous senoritas scurrying past with fire-fli^s tangled in 
the jetty braids of their hair glanced at lilm with shy, 
flattering eyes. The air was languorous with the 
scent of jasmin and orange-blossoms. 

The consul stayed -his steps at the house of Bernard 
Brannigan. Paula was swinging in a hammock on 
the gallery. She rose from it hke a bird from its nest. 
The colour came to her cheek at the sound of Geddle's 

40 Cabbages and Kings 

He was charmed at the sight of her costume — a 
flounced muslin dress, with a little jacket of white 
flannel, all made with neatness and style. He sug- 
gested a stroll, and they walked out to the old Indian 
well on the hill road. They sat on the curb, and 
there Geddie made the expected but long-deferred 
speech. Certain though he had been that she would 
not say him nay, he was thrilled with joy at the com- 
pleteness and sweetness of her surrender. Here was 
surely a heart made for love and steadfastness. Here 
was no caprice or questionings or captious standards 
of convention. 

When Geddie kissed Paula at her door that night 
he was happier than he had ever been before. " Here 
in this hollow lotus land, ever to live and lie reclined " 
seemed to him, as it has seemed to many mariners, the 
best as well as the easiest. His future would be an 
ideal one. He had attained a Paradise without a ser- 
pent. His Eve would be indeed a part of him, unbe- 
guiled, and therefore more beguiling. He had made 
his decision to-night, and his heart was full of serene, 
assured content. 

Geddie went back to his house whistling that finest 
and saddest love song, " La Golondrina." At the 
door his tame monkey leaped down from his shelf, 

The LtOtus and the Bottle 41 

chattering briskly. The consul turned to his desk to 
get him some nuts he usually kept there. Reaching 
in the half-darkness, his hand struck against the bot- 
tle. He started as if he had touched the cold ro- 
tundity of a serpent. 

He had forgotten that the bottle was there. 

He lighted the lamp and fed the monkey. Then, 
Very deliberately, he lighted a cigar, and took the 
bottle in his hand, and walked down the path to the 

There was a moon, and the sea was glorious. The 
breeze had shifted, as it did each evening, and was 
now rushing steadily seaward. 

Stepping to the water's edge, Geddie hurled the un- 
opened bottle far out into the sea. It disappeared 
for a moment, and then shot upward twice its length. 
Geddie stood still, watching it. The moonlight was 
so bright that he could see it bobbing up and down 
with the little waves. Slowly it receded from the 
shore, flashing and turning as it went. The wind 
was carrying it out to sea. Soon it became a mere 
speck, doubtfully discerned at irregular intervals ; 
and then the mystery of it was swallowed up by the 
greater mystery of the ocean. Geddie stood still 
upon the beach, smoking and looking out upon the 

42 Cabbages and Kings 

" Simon ! — Oh, Simon ! — wake up there, Si- 
mon ! '* bawled a sonorous voice at the edge of the 

Old Simon Cruz was a half-breed fisherman and 
smuggler who lived in a hut on the beach. Out of 
his earliest nap Simon was thus awakened. 

He slipped on his shoes and went outside. Just 
landing from one of the Valhalla^s boats was the third 
mate of that vessel, who was an acquaintance of Si- 
mon's, and three sailors from the fruiter. 

" Go up, Simon," called the mate, **and find Dr. 
Gregg or Mr. Goodwin or anybody that's a friend to 
Mr. Geddie, and bring 'em here at once." 

" Saints of the skies ! " said Simon, sleepily, " noth- 
ing has happened to Mr. Geddie?" 

" He's under that tarpauling," said the mate, point- 
ing to the boat, " and he's rather more than half 
drownded. We seen him from the steamer nearly a 
mile out from shore, swimmin' like mad after a bottle 
that was floatin' in the water, outward bound. We 
lowered the gig and started for him. He nearly had 
his hand on the bottle, when he gave out and went 
under. We pulled him out in time to save him, 
maybe; but the doctor is the one to decide that." 

"A bottle?" said the old man, rubbing his eyes. 
He was not yet fully awake. " Where is the bottle? " 

The JLotuis and the Bottle 43 

** Driftin' along out there some'eres," said the mate, 
jerking his thumb toward the sea. "Get on with 
you, Simon." 



Goodwin and the ardent patriot, Zavalla, took 

all the precautions that their foresight could contrive 

to prevent the escape of President Miraflores and his 

companion. They sent trusted messengers up the 

coast to Solitas and Alazan to warn the local leaders 

of the flight, and to instruct them to patrol the water 

line and arrest the fugitives at all hazards should they 

reveal themselves in that territory. After this was 

done there remained only to cover the district about 

Coralio and await the coming of the quarry. The 

nets were well spread. The roads were so few, the 

opportimities for embarkation so limited, and the two 

or three probable points of exit so well guarded that 

it would be strange indeed if there should slip through 

the meshes so much of the country's dignity, romance, 

and collateral. The president would, without doubt, 

move as secretly as possible, and endeavour to board 

a vessel by stealth from some secluded point along the 



Smith 45 

On the fourth day after the receipt of Englehart's 
telegram the Karlsefin^ a Norwegian steamer char- 
tered by the New Orleans fruit trade, anchored off 
Coralio with three hoarse toots of her siren. The 
Karlsefin was not one of the line operated by the Ve- 
suvius Fruit Company. She was something of a dilet- 
tante, doing odd jobs for a company that was scarcely 
important enough to figure as a rival to the Vesuvius. 
The movements of the Karlsefin were dependent upon 
the state of the market. Sometimes she would ply 
steadily between the Spanish Main and New Orleans 
in the regular transport of fruit ; next she would be 
making erratic trips to Mobile or Charleston, or even 
as far north as New York, according to the distribu- 
tion of the fruit supply. 

Groodwin lounged upon the beach with the usual 
'crowd of idlers that had gathered to view the steamer. 
Now that President Miraflores might be expected to 
reach the borders of his abjured country at any time, 
the orders were to keep a strict and unrelenting watch. 
Every vessel that approached the shores might now be 
considered a possible means of escape for the fugi- 
tives; and an eye was kept even on the sloops and 
dories that belonged to the sea-going contingent of 
Coralio. Goodwin and Zavalla moved everywhere, but 
without ostentation, watching the loopholes of escape. 

46 Cabbages and Kings 

The customs officials crowded importantly Into 
their boat and rowed out to the KarUefin, A boat 
from the steamer landed her purser with his papers, 
and took out the quarantine doctor with his green 
umbrella and clinical thermometer. Next a swarm of 
Caribs began to load upon lighters the thousands of 
bunches of bananas heaped upon the shore and row 
them out to the steamer. The Karlsefin had no 
passenger list, and was soon done with the attention 
of the authorities. The purser declared that the 
steamer would remain at anchor until morning, taking 
on her fruit during the night. The Karlsefin had 
come, he said, from New York, to which port her 
latest load of oranges and cocoanuts had been con- 
veyed. Two or three of the freighter sloops were en- 
gaged to assist in the work, for the captain was anx- 
ious to make a quick return in order to reap the 
advantage offered by a certain dearth of fruit in the 

About four o'clock in the afternoon another of those 
marine monsters, not very familiar in those waters, 
hove in sight, following the fateful Idalia — a grace- 
ful steam yacht, painted a light buff, clean-cut as a 
steel engraving. The beautiful vessel hovered off 
shore, see-sawing the waves as lightly as a duck in a 
rain barrel. A swift boat manned by a crew in uni- 

Smith 47 

form came ashore, and a stocky-built man leaped to 
the sands. 

The new-comer seemed to turn a disapproving eye 
upon the rather motley congregation of native Anchu- 
rians, and made his way at once toward Goodwin, who 
was the most conspicuously Anglo-Saxon figure pres- 
ent. Goodwin greeted him with courtesy. 

Conversation developed that the newly landed one 
was named Smith, and that he had come in a yacht. 
A meagre biography, truly; for the yacht was most 
apparent ; and the " Smith " not beyond a reasonable 
guess before the revelation. Yet to the eye of Good- 
win, who had seen several things, there was a dis- 
crepancy between Smith and his yacht. A bullet- 
headed man Smith was, with an oblique, dead eye and 
the moustache of a cocktail-mixer. And unless he 
had shifted costumes before putting off for shore he 
had affronted the deck of his correct vessel clad in a 
pearl-gray derby, a gay plaid suit and vaudeville 
neckwear. Men owning pleasure yachts generally 
harmonize better with them. 

Smith looked business, but he was no advertiser. 
He commented upon the scenery, remarking upon its 
fidelity to the pictures in the geography ; and then in- 
quired for the United States consul. Goodwin pointed 
out the starred-and-striped bunting hanging above the 

48 Cabbages and Kings 

little consulate, which was concealed behind the 

" Mr. Geddie, the consul, will be sure to be there," 
said Goodwin. " He was very nearly drowned a 
few days ago while taking a swim in the sea, and the 
doctor has ordered him to remain indoors for some 

Smith plowed his way through the sand to the con- 
sulate, his haberdashery creating violent discord 
against the smooth tropical blues and greens. 

Geddie was lounging in his hammock, somewhat 
pale of face and languid in pose. On that night when 
the Valhalla*8 boat had brought him ashore appar- 
ently drenched to death by the sea. Doctor Gregg and 
his other friends had toiled for hours to preserve the 
little spark of life that remained to him. The bottle, 
with its impotent message, was gone out to sea, and 
the problem that it had provoked was reduced to a 
simple sum in addition — one and one make two, by 
the rule of arithmetic ; one by the rule of romance. 

There is a quaint old theory that man may have 
two souls — a peripheral one which serves ordinarily, 
and a central one which is stirred only at certain 
times, but then with activity and vigour. While un- 
der the domination of the former a man will shave, 
vote, pay taxes, give money to his family, buy sub- 

Smith 49 

scription books and comport himself on the arerage 
plan. But let the central soul sudden I v become dom- 
inant, and he may, in the twinkling of an eve, turn 
upon the partner of his jovs with furious execration ; 
he may change his politics while you could snap your 
fingers; he may deal out deadly insult to his dearest 
friend ; he may get him, instanter, to a monastery or a 
dance hall; he may elope, or hang himself — or he 
may write a song or poem, or kiss his wife unasked, or 
give his funds to the search of a microbe. Then the 
peripheral soul will return ; and we have our safe, 
sane citizen again. It is but the revolt of tlie Ego 
against Order ; and its effect is to shake up the atoms 
only that they may settle where they belong. 

Geddie's revulsion had been a mild one — no more 
than a swim in a summer sea after so inglorious an 
object as a drifting bottle. And now he was himself 
again. Upon his desk, ready for the post, was a let- 
ter to his government tendering his resignation as con- 
sul, to be effective as soon as another could be 
appointed in his place. For Bernard Brannigan, who 
never did things in a half-way manner, was to take 
Geddie at once for a partner in his very profitable 
and various enterprises ; and Paula was happily en- 
gaged in plans for refurnishing and decorating the 
upper story of the Brannigan house. 

60 Cabbages and Kings 

The consul rose from his hammock when he saw 
the conspicuous stranger in his door. 

" Keep your seat, old man," said the visitor, with 
an airy wave of his large hand. " My name's Smith ; 
and I've come in a yacht. You are the consul — is 
that right? A big, cool guy on the beach directed me 
here. Thought I'd pay my respects to the flag." 

" Sit down," said Geddie. " I've been admiring 
your craft ever since it came in sight. Looks like a 
fast sailer. What's her tonnage? " 

" Search me ! " said Smith. " I don't know what 
she weighs in at. But she's got a tidy gait. The 
Rambler — that's her name — don't take the dust 
of anything afloat. This is my first trip on her. I'm 
taking a squint along this coast just to get an idea 
of the countries where the rubber and red pepper and 
revolutions come from. I had no idea there was so 
much scenery down here. Why, Central Park ain't 
in it with this neck of the woods. I'm from New 
York. They get monkeys, and cocoanuts, and par- 
rots down here — is that right ? " 

" We have them all," said Geddife. " I'm quite sure 
that our fauna and flora would take a prize over 
Central Park." 

" Maybe they would," admitted Smith, cheerfully. 
" I haven't seen them yet. But I guess you've got 

Smith * 51 

us skinned on the animal and vegetation question. 
You don't have. much travel here, do you?" 

"Travel?" queried the consul. "I suppose you 
mean passengers on the steamers. No ; very few peo- 
ple land in Coralio. An investor now and then — 
tourists and sight-seers generally go further down the 
coast to one of the larger towns where there is a 

" I see a ship out there loading up with bananas," 
said Smith. "Any passengers come on her?" 

" That's the K arise fin,'' said the consul. " She's 
a tramp fruiter — made her last trip to New York, 
I believe. No; she brought no passengers. I saw 
her boat come ashore, and there was no one. About 
the only exciting recreation we have here is watching 
steamers when they arrive ; and a passenger on one of 
them generally causes the whole town to turn out. 
If you are going to remain in Coralio a while, Mr. 
Smith, I'll be glad to take you around to meet some 
people. There are four or five American chaps that 
are good to know, besides the native high-fliers." 

'' Thanks," said the yachtsman, " but I wouldn't 
put you to the trouble. I'd like to meet the guys you 
speak of, but I won't be here long enough to do much 


knocking around. That cool gent on the beach spoke 
of a doctor; can you tell me where I could find him? 

52 • Cabbages and Kings 

The Rambler ain't quite as steady on her feet as a 
Broadway hotel ; and a fellow gets a touch of seasick- 
ness now and then. Thought I'd strike the croaker 
for a handful of the little sugar pills, in case I need 


" You will be apt to find Dr. Gregg at the hotel," 
said the consul. " You can see it from the door — 
it's that two-story building with the balcony, where 
the orange-trees are." 

The Hotel de los Estranjeros was a dreary hos- 
telry, in great disuse both by strangers and friends. 
It stood at a comer of the Street of the Holy Sepul- 
chre. A grove of small orange-trees crowded against 
one side of it, enclosed by a low, rock wall over which 
a tall man might easily step. The house was of 
plastered adobe, stained a hundred shades of colour 
by the salt breeze and the sun. Upon its upper bal- 
cony opened a central door and two windows con- 
taining broad jalousies instead of sashes. 

The lower floor communicated by two doorways 
with the narrow, rock-paved sidewalk. The pulperia 
— or drinking shop — of the proprietress, Madama 
Timotea Ortiz, occupied the ground floor. On the 
bottles of brandy, anisada, Scotch " smoke " and in- 
expensive wines behind the little counter the dust lay 

Smith 53 

thick save where the fingers of infrequent customers 
had left irregular prints. The upper story contained 
four or five guest-rooms which were rarely put to 
their destined use. Sometimes a fruit-grower, riding 
in from his plantation to confer with his agent, would 
pass a melancholy night in the dismal upper' story ; 
sometimes a minor native official on some trifling gov- 
ernment quest would have his pomp and majesty awed 
by Madama's sepulchral hospitality. But Madama 
sat behind her bar content, not desiring to quarrel 
with Fate. If anyone required meat, drink or lodg- 
ing at the Hotel de los Estranjeros they had but to 
come, and be served. Estd bueno. If they came 
not, why, then, they came not. Estd bueno. 

As the exceptional yachtsman was making his way 
down the precarious sidewalk of the Street of the 
Holy Sepulchre, the solitary permanent guest of that 
decaying hotel sat at its door, enjoying the breeze 
from the sea. 

^ Dr. Gregg, the quarantine physician, was a man of 
fifty or sixty, with a florid face and the longest beard 
between Topeka and Terra del Fuego. He held his 
position by virtue of an appointment by the Board of 
Health of a seaport city in one of the Southern states. 
That city feared the ancient enemy of every Southern 

54 Cabbages and Kings 

seaport — the yellow fever — and it was the duty of 
Dr. Gregg to examine crew and passengers of every 
vessel leaving Coralio for preliminary symptoms. 
The duties were light, and the salary, for one who 
lived in Coralio, ample. Surplus time there was in 
plenty ; and the good doctor added to his gains by a 
large private practice among the residents of the 
coast. The fact that he did not know ten words of 
Spanish was no obstacle ; a pulse could be felt and a 
fee collected without one being a linguist. Add to 
the description the facts that the doctor had a story 
to tell concerning the operation of trepanning which 
no listener had ever allowed him to conclude, and that 
he believed in brandy as a prophylactic ; and the spe- 
cial points of intei*est possessed by Dr. Gregg will 
have become exhausted. 

The doctor had dragged a chair to the sidewalk. 
He was coatless, and he leaned back against the wall 
and smoked, while he stroked his beard. Surprise 
came into his pale blue eyes when he caught sight of 
Smith in his unusual and prismatic clothes. 

" You're Dr. Gregg — is that right? " said Smith, 
feeling the dog's head pin in his tie. " The constable 
— I mean the consul, told me you hung out at this 
caravansary. My name's Smith; and I came in a 
yacht. Taking a cruise around, looking at the mon^ 

Smith 55 

keys and pineapple-trees. Come inside and have a 
drink, Doc. This cafe looks on the blink, but I 
guess it can set out something wet." 

" I will join you, sir, in just a taste of brandy," 
said Dr. Gregg, rising quickly. " I find that as a 
prophylactic a little brandy is almost a necessity in 
this climate." 

As they turned to enter the pulperia a native man, 
barefoot, glided noiselessly up and addressed the doc- 
tor in Spanish. He was yellowish-brown, like an 
over-ripe lemon; he wore a cotton shirt and ragged 
linen trousers girded by a leather belt. His face was 
like an animal's, live and wary, but without promise of 
much intelligence. This man jabbered with animation 
and so much seriousness that it seemed a pity that his 
words were to be wasted. 

Dr. Gregg felt his pulse. 

" You sick.'^ " he inquired. 

" Mi mujer estd enferma en la casa,^' said the man, 
thus endeavouring to convey the news, in the only 
language open to him, that his wife lay ill in her 
palm-thatched hut. 

The doctor drew a handful of capsules filled with 
a white powder from his trousers pocket. He counted 
out ten of them into the native's hand, and held up 
his forefinger impressively. 

56 Cabbages and Kings 

" Take one," said the doctor, " every two hours." 
He then held up two fingers, shaking them emphat- 
ically before the native's face. Next he pulled out his 
watch and ran his finger round its dial twice. Again 
the two fingers confronted the patient's nose. " Two 
— two — two hours," repeated the doctor. 

" Sly SenoTy*^ said the native, sadly. 

He pulled a cheap silver watch from his own pocket 
and laid it in the doctor's hand. " Me bring," said 
he, struggling painfully with his scant English, 
" other watchy to-morrow." Then he departed 
down-heartedly with his capsules. 

"A very ignorant race of people, sir," said the 
doctor, as he slipped the watch into his pocket. '* He 
seems to have mistaken my directions for taking the 
physic for the fee. However, it is all right. He 
owes me an account, anyway. The chances are that 
he won't bring the other watch. You can't depend on 
an3rthing they promise you. About that drink, now.? 
How did you come to Coralio, Mr. Smith? I was not 
aware that any boats except the Karhefin had arrived 
for some days." 

The two leaned against the deserted bar ; and Ma- 
dama set out a bottle without waiting for the doctor's 
order. There was no dust on it. 

After they had drank twice Smith said : 

Smith 57 

" You say there were no passengers on the K arise- 
fin. Doc? Are you sure about that? It seems to me 
I heard somebody down on the beach say that there 
■ was one or two aboard/' 

" They were mistaken, sir. I myself went out and 
put all hands through a medical examination, as usual. 
The KarUefin sails as soon as she gets her bananas 
loaded, which will be about daylight in the morning, 
and she got everything ready this afternoon. No, 
sir, there was no passenger list. Like th^t Three- 
Star? A French schooner landed two slooploads of 
it a month ago. If any customs duties on it went to 
the distinguished republic of Anchuria you may have 
my hat. If you won't have another, come out and 
let's sit in the cool a while. It isn't often we exiles 
get a chance to talk with somebody from the outside 

The doctor brought out another chair to the side- 
walk for his new acquaintance. The two seated 

" You are a man of the world," said Dr. Gregg; 
" a man of travel and experience. Your decision in a 
matter of ethics and, no doubt, on the points of equity, 
ability and professional probity should be of value. 
I would be glad if you will listen to the history of a 
case that I think stands unique in medical annals. 

58 Cabbages and Kings 

" About nine years ago, while I was engaged in the 
practice of medicine in my native city, I was called to 
treat a case of contusion of the skull. I made the di- 
agnosis that a splinter of bone was pressing upon the 
brain, and that the surgical operation known as tre- 
panning was required. However, as the patient was 
a gentleman of wealth and position, I called in for 
consultation Dr. — " 

Smith rose from his chair, and laid a hand, soft 
^ith apology, upon the doctor's shirt sleeve. 

" Say, Doc,'* he said, solemnly, " I want to hear 
that story. You've got me interested; and I don't 
want to miss the rest of it. I know it's a loola by the 
way it begins ; and I want to tell it at the next meeting 
of the Barney O'Flynn Association, if you don't mind. 
But I've got one or two matters to attend to first. If 
I get 'em attended to in time I'll come right back and 
hear you spiel the rest before bedtime— is tha^* 

" By all means," said the doctor, " get ydur busi- 
ness attended to, and then return. I shall wait up 
for you. You see, one of the most prominent physi- 
cians at the consultation diagnosed the trouble as 
a blood clot; another said it was an abscess, but 

"Don't tell me now. Doc. Don't spoil the story. 

Smith 59 

Wait till I come back. I want to hear it as it 
runs off the reel — is that right ? " 

The mountains reached up their bulky shoulders 
to receive the level gallop of Apollo's homing steeds, 
the day died in the lagoons and in the shadowed ba- 
nana groves and in the mangrove swamps, where the 
great blue crabs were beginning to crawl to land for 
their nightly ramble. And it died, at last, upon the 
highest peaks. Then the brief twilight, ephemeral as 
the flight of a moth, came and went; the Southern 
Cross peeped with its topmost eye above a row of 
palms, and the fire-flies heralded with their torches 
the approach of soft-footed night. 

In the offing the Karlsefin swayed at anchor, her 
lights seeming to penetrate the water to countless 
fathoms with their shimmering, lanceolate reflections. 
The Caribs were busy loading her by means of the 
great lighters heaped full from the piles of fruit 
ranged upon the shore. 

On the sandy beach, with his back against a cocoa- 
nut-tree and the stubs of many cigars lying around 
him, Smith sat waiting, never relaxing his sharp 
gaze in the direction of the steamer. 

The incongruous yachtsman had concentrated his 
interest upon the innocent fruiter. Twice had he 
been assured that no passengers had come to Coralio 

60 Cabbages and Kings 

on board of her. And yet, with a persistence not 
to be attributed to an idling voyager, he had ap- 
pealed the case to the higher court of his own eye- 
sight. Surprisingly like some gay-coated lizard, 
he crouched at the foot of the cocoanut palm, and 
with the beady, shifting eyes of the selfsame reptile, 
sustained his espionage on the Karlsefn, 

On the white sands a whiter gig belonging to the 
yacht was drawn up, guarded by one of the white- 
ducked crew. Not far away in a ptdperia on the 
shore-following Calle Grande three other sailors 
swaggered with their cues around Coralio's solitary 
billiard-table. The boat lay there as if under orders 
to be ready for use at any moment. There was in 
the atmosphere a hint of expectation, of waiting for 
something to occur, which was foreign to the air of 

Like some passing bird of brilliant plumage. Smith 
alights on this palmy shore but to preen his wings 
for an instant and then to fly away upon silent pin- 
ions. When morning dawned there was no Smith, 
no waiting gig, no yacht in the offing. Smith left 
no intimation of his mission there, no footprints to 
show where he had followed the trail of his mystery 
on the sands of Coralio that night. He came; he 
spake his strange jargon of the asphalt and thq 

Smith 61 

cafes; he sat under the cocoanut-tree, and vanished. 
The next morning Coralio, Smithless, ate its fried 
plantain and said : ** The man of pictured clothing 
went himself away." With the siesta the incident 
passed, yawning, into history. 

So, for a time, must Smith pass behind the scenes 
of the play. He comes no more to Coralio nor to 
Doctor Gregg, who sits in vain, wagging his redun- 
dant beard, waiting to enrich his derelict audience 
with his moving tale of trepanning and jealousy. 

But prosperously to the lucidity of these loose 
pages. Smith shall flutter among them again. In 
the nick of time he shall come to tell us why he 
strewed so many anxious cigar stumps around the 
cocoanut palm that night. This he must do; for, 
when he sailed away before the dawn in his yacht 
Rambler, he carried with him the answer to a riddle 
so big and preposterous that few in Anchuria had 
ventured even to propound it. 


The plans for the detention of the flying President 
Miraflores and his companion at the coast line 
seemed hardly likely to fail. Dr. Zavalla himself 
had gone to the port of Alazan to establish a guard 
at that point. At Coi'alio the Liberal patriot Varras 
could be depended upon to keep close watch. Good- 
win held himself responsible for the district about 

The news of the president's flight had been dis- 
closed to no one in the coast towns save trusted mem- 
bers of the ambitious political party that was 
desirous of succeeding to power. The telegraph 
wire running from San Mateo to the coast had been 
cut far up on the mountain trail by an emissary of 
Zavalla's. Long before this could be repaired and 
word received along it from the capital the fugitives 
would have reached the coast and the question of 
escape or capture been solved. 

Goodwin had stationed armed sentinels at fre- 


Caught 63 

quent intervals along the shore for a mile in each 
direction from Coralio. They were instructed to 
keep a vigilant lookout during the night to prevent 
Miraflores from attempting to embark stealthily by 
means of some boat or sloop found by chance at the 
water's edge. A dozen patrols walked the streets of 
Coralio unsuspected, ready to intercept the truant 
official should he show himself there. 

Goodwin was very well convinced that no precau- 
tions had been overlooked. He strolled about the 
streets that bore such high-sounding names and were 
but narrow, grass-covered lanes, lending his own aid 
to the vigil that had been intrusted to him by Bob 

The town had begun the tepid round of its nightly 
diversions. A few leisurely dandies, clad in white 
duck, with flowing neckties, and swinging slim bam- 
boo canes, threaded the grassy by-ways toward the 
houses of their favoured senoritas. Those who 
wooed the art of music dragged tirelessly at whining 
concertinas, or fingered lugubrious guitars at doors 
and windows. An occasional soldier from the cuar- 
tel, with flapping straw hat, without coat or shoes, 
hurried by, balancing his long gun like a lance in one 
hand. From every density of the foliage the giant 
tree frogs sounded their loud and irritating clatter. 

64 Cabbages and Kings 

Further out, where the by-ways perished at the brink 
of the jungle, the guttural cries of marauding bab- 
oons and the coughing of the alligators in the black 
estuaries fractured the vain silence of the wood. 

By ten o'clock the streets were deserted. The oil 
lamps that had burned, a sickly yellow, at random 
comers, had been extinguished by some economical 
civic agent. Coralio lay sleeping calmly between top- 
pling mountains and encroaching sea like a stolen 
babe in the arms of its abductors. Somewhere over 
in that tropical darkness — perhaps already thread- 
ing the profundities of the alluvial lowlands — the 
high adventurer and his mate were moving toward 
land's end. The game of Fox-in-the-Moming 
should be coming soon to its close. 

Goodwin, at his deliberate gait, passed the long, 
low cuartel where Coralio's contingent of Anchuria's 
military force slumbered, with its bare toes pointed 
heavenward. There was a law that no civilian 
might come so near the headquarters of that citadel 
of war after nine o'clock, but Goodwin was always 
forgetting the minor statutes. 

" Quien vivef " shrieked the sentinel, wrestling 
prodigiously with his lengthy musket. 

" Americano y^^ growled Goodwin, without turning 
his head, and passed on, unhalted. 

Caught 65 

To the right he turned, and to the left up the 
street that ultimately reached the Plaza Nacional. 
When within the toss of a cigar stump from the in- 
tersecting Street of the Holy Sepulchre, he stopped 
suddenly in the pathway. 

He saw the form of a tall man, clothed in black 
and carrying a large valise, hurry down the cross- 
street in the direction of the beach. And Goodwin's 
second glance made him aware of a woman at the 
man's elbow on the farther side, who seemed to urge 
forward, if not even to assist, her companion in their 
swift but silent progress. They were no Coralians, 
those two. 

Groodwin followed at increased speed, but without 
any of the artful tactics that are so dear to the heart 
of the sleuth. The American was too broad to feel 
the instinct of the detective. He stood as an agent 
for the people of Anchuria, and but for political 
reasons he would have demanded then and there the 
money. It was the design of his party to secure the 
imperilled fund, to restore it to the treasury of 
the country, and to declare itself in power without 
bloodshed or resistance. 

The couple halted at the door of the Hotel de los 
Estranjeros, and the man struck upon the wood with 
the impatience of one unused to his entry being 

66 Cabbages and Kings 

stayed. Madama was long in response; but after a 
time her light showed, the door was opened, and the 
guests housed. 

Goodwin stood in the quiet street, lighting another 
cigar. In two minutes a faint gleam began to show 
between the slats of the jalousies in the upper story 
of the hotel. " They have engaged rooms," said 
Goodwin to himself. " So, then, their arrangements 
for sailing have yet to be made." 

At that moment there came along one Esteban 
Delgado, a barber, an enemy to existing government, 
a jovial plotter against stajgnation in any form. 
This barber was one of Coralio's saddest dogs, often 
remaining out of doors as late as eleven, post merid- 
ian. He was a partisan Liberal; and he greeted 
Goodwin with flatulent importance as a brother in 
the cause. But he had something important to tell. 

" What think you, Don Frank ! " he cried, in the 
universal tone of the conspirator. " I have to-night 
shaved la barba — what you call the * weeskers * of 
the Presidente himself, of this countree! Consider! 
He sent for me to come. In the poor casita of an 
old woman he awaited me — in a verree leetle house 
in a dark place. Carramba! — el Seiior Presidente 
to make himself thus secret and obscured! I think 
he desired not to be known — but, carajo! can you 

Caught 67 

shave a man and not see his face? This gold piece 
he gave me, and said it was to be all quite still. I 
think, Don Frank, there is what you call a chip over 
the bug." 

" Have you ever seen President Miraflores be- 
fore?" asked Goodwin. 

" But once," answered Esteban. " He is tall ; and 
he had weeskers, verree black and sufficient." 

" Was anyone else present when you shaved 

" An old Indian woman, Senor, that belonged with 
the casa, and one sefiorita — a ladee of so much 
beautee ! — ah, Dios! " 

" All right, Esteban," said Goodwin. " It's very 
lucky that you happened along with your ton serial 
information. The new administration will be likely 
to remember you for this." 

Then in a few words he made the barber ac- 
quainted with the crisis into which the affairs of the 
nation had culminated, and instructed him to remain 
outside, keeping watch upon the two sides of the 
hotel that looked upon the street, and observing 
whether anyone should attempt to leave the house by 
any door or window. Goodwin himself went to the 
door through which the guests had entered, opened 
it and stepped inside. 

68 Cabbages and Kings 

Madama had returned downstairs from her jour- 
ney above to see after the comfort of her lodgers. 
Her candle stood upon the bar. She was about to 
take a thimbleful of rum as a solace for having her 
rest disturbed. She looked up without surprise or 
alarm as her third caller entered. 

" Ah ! it is the Senor Goodwin. Not often does 
he honour my poor house by his presence." 

" I must come oftener," said Goodwin, with the 
Goodwin smile. " I hear that your cognac is the 
best between Belize to the north and Rio to 
the south. Set out the bottle, Madama, and let us 
have the proof in un vasito for each of us." 

" My aguardiente J** said Madama, with pride, ** is 
the best. It grows, in beautiful bottles, in the dark 
places among the banana-trees. iSi, Senor, Only 
at midnight can they be picked by sailor-men who 
bring them, before daylight comes, to your back 
door. Good agiuirdiente is a verree difficult fruit to 
handle, Sefior Goodwin." 

Smuggling, in Coralio, was much nearer than 
competition to being the life of trade. One spoke of 
it slyly, yet with a certain conceit, when it had been 
well accomplished. 

" You have guests in the house to-night," said 
Goodwin, laying a silver dollar upon the counter. 

Caught 69 

"Why not? " said Madama, counting the change. 
"Two; but the smallest while finished to arrive. 
One senor, not quite old, and one sefiorita of sufB- 
cient handsomeness. To their rooms they have as- 
cended, not desiring the to-eat nor the to-drink. 
Two rooms — Numero 9 and Numero 10." 

" I was expecting that gentleman and that lady," 
said Goodwin. " I have important negocw that 
must be transacted. Will you allow me to see 

"Why not?" sighed Madama, placidly. "Why 
should not Senor Goodwin ascend and speak to his 
friends? Estd bueno. Room Numero 9 and room 
Numero 10." 

Goodwin loosened in his coat pocket the American 
revolver that he carried, and ascended the steep, dark 
stairway. \ 

In the hallway above, the saffron light from a 
hanging lamp allowed him to select the gaudy num- 
bers on the doors. He turned the knob of Number 
9, entered and closed the door behind him. 

If that was Isabel Guilbert seated by the table in 
that poorly furnished room, report had failed to do 
her charms justice. She rested her head upon one 
hand. Extreme fatigue was signified in every line 
of her figure ; and upon her countenance a deep per- 

70 Cabbages and Kings 

plexity was written. Her eyes were gray-irised, and 
of that mould that seems to have belonged to the 
orbs of all the famous queens of hearts. Their 
whites were singularly cleaj* and brilliant, concealed 
above the irises by heavy horizontal lids, and show- 
ing a snowy line below them. Such eyes denote 
great nobility, vigour, and, if you can conceive of 
it, a most generous selfishness. She looked up when 
the American entered, with an expression of sur- 
prised inquiry, but without alarm. . 

Goodwin took off his hat and seated himself, with 
his characteristic deliberate ease, upon a corner of 
the table. He held a lighted cigar between his fin- 
gers. He took this familiar course because he was 
sure that preliminaries would be wasted upon Miss 
Guilbert. He knew her history, and the small part 
that the conventions had played in it. 

" Good evening," he said. " Now, madame, let 
us come to business at once. You will observe that 
I mention no names, but I know who is in the next 
room, and what he carries in that valise. That is 
the point which brings me here. I have come to dic- 
tate terms of surrender." 

The lady neither moved nor replied, but steadily 
regarded the cigar in Goodwin's hand. 

" We," continued the dictator, thoughtfully re- 

Caught 71 

garding the neat buckskin shoe on his gently swing- 
ing foot — " I speak for a considerable majority of 
the people — demand the return of the stolen funds 
belonging to them. Our terms go very little further 
than that. They are very simple. As an accred- 
ited spokesman, I promise that our interference will 
cease if they are accepted. Give up the money, and 
jou and your companion will be permitted to pro- 
ceed wherever you will. In fact, assistance will be 
given you in the matter of securing a passage by any 
outgoing vessel you may choose. It is on my per- 
sonal responsibility that I add congratulations to the 
gentleman in Number 10 upon his taste in feminine 

Returning his cigar to his mouth, Goodwin ob- 
served her, and saw that her eyes followed it and 
rested upon it with icy and significant concentration. 
Apparently she had not heard a word he had said. 
He understood, tossed the cigar out the window, 
and, with an amused laugh, slid from the table to 
his feet. 

"That is better,'V said the lady. "It makes it 
possible for me to listen to you. For a second lesson 
in good manners, you might now tell me by whom I 
am being insulted." 

" I am sorry," said Goodwin^ leaning one hand on 

72 Cabbages and Kings 

the table, "that my time is too brief for devoting 
much of it to a course of etiquette. Come, now; I 
appeal to your good sense. You have shown your- 
self, in more than one instance, to be well aware of 
what is to your advantage. This is an occasion that 
demands the exercise of your undoubted intelligence. 
There is no mystery here. I am Frank Goodwin; 
and I have come for the money. I entered this room 
at a venture. Had I entered the other I would have 
had it before now. Do you want it in words? The 
gentleman in Number 10 has betrayed a great trust. 
He has robbed his people of a large sum, and it is I 
who will prevent their losing it. I do not say who 
that gentleman is; but if I should be forced to see 
him and he should prove to be a certain high official 
of the republic, it will be my duty to arrest him. 
The house is guarded. I am offering you liberal 
terms. It is not absolutely necessary that I confer 
personally with the gentleman in the next room. 
Bring me the valise containing the money, and we will 
call the affair ended.'* 

The lady arose from her chair and stood for a mo- 
ment, thinking deeply. 

" Do you live here, Mr. Goodwin ? " she asked, 

" Yes." 

Caught 73 

"What is your authority for this intrusion? " 

" I am an instrument of the republic. I was ad- 
vised by wire of the movements of the — gentleman 
in Number 10." 

" May I ask you two or three questions ? I be- 
lieve you to be a man more apt to be truthful than — 
timid. What sort of a town is this — Coralio, I 
think they call it?" 

" Not much of a town," said Goodwin, smiling. 
" A banana town, as they run. Grass huts, 'dobes, 
five or six two-story houses, accommodations limited, 
population half-breed Spanish and Indian, Caribs 
and blackamoors. No sidewalks to speak of, no 
amusements. Rather unmoral. That's an offhand 
sketch, of course." 

" Are there any inducements, say in a social or in 
a business way, for people to reside here? " 

" Oh, yes," answered Goodwin, smiling broadly. 
" There are no afternoon teas, no hand-organs, no 
department stores — and there is no extradition 

" He told me," went on the lady, speaking as if to 
herself, and with a slight frown, " that there were 
towns on this coast of beauty and importance; that 
there was a pleasing social order — especially an 
American colony of cultured residents." 

74 Cabbages and Kings 

" There is an American colony," said Groodwin, 
gazing at her in some wonder. " Some of the mem- 
bers are all right. Some are fugitives from justice 
from the States. I recall two exiled bank presi- 
dents, one army paymaster under a cloud, a couple 
of manslayers, and a widow — arsenic, I believe, 
was the suspicion in her case. I myself complete 
the colony, but, as yet, I have not distinguished my- 
self by any particular crime." 

" Do not lose hope," said the lady, dryly ; " I see 
nothing in your actions to-night to guarantee you 
further obscurity. Some mistake has been made; I 
do not know just where. But him you shall not dis- 
turb to-night. The journey has fatigued him so 
that he has fallen asleep, I think, in his clothes. 
You talk of stolen money! I do not understand 
you. Some mistake has been made. I will con- 
vince you. Remain where you are and I will bring 
you the valise that you seem to covet so, and show 
it to you." 

She moved toward the closed door that connected 
the two rooms, but stopped, and half turned and be- 
stowed upon Goodwin a grave, searching look that 
ended in a quizzical smile. 

" You force my door," she said, " and you follow 
your ruffianly behaviour with the basest accusations ; 

Caught 75 

and yet " — she hesitated, as if to reconsider what 
she was about to say — " and yet — it is a puzzling 
thing — I am sure there has been some mistake." 

She took a step toward the door, but Goodwin 
stayed her by a light touch upon her arm. I have 
said before that women turned to look at him in the 
streets. He was the viking sort of man, big, good- 
looking, and with an air of kindly truculence. She 
was dark and proud, glowing or pale as her mood 
moved her. I do not know if Eve were light or dark, 
but if such a woman had stood in the garden I know 
that the apple would have been eaten. This woman 
was to be Goodwin's fate, and he did not know it ; but 
he must have felt the first throes of destiny, for, as 
he faced her, the knowledge of what report named 
her turned bitter in his throat. 

" If there has been any mistake," he said, hotly, 
" it was yours. I do not blame the man who has 
lost his country, his honour, and is about to lose the 
poor consolation of his stolen riches as much as I 
blame you, for, by Heaven! I can very well see how 
he was brought to it. I can understand, and pity 
him. It is such women as you that strew this de- 
graded coast with wretched exiles, that make men 
forget their trusts, that drag — " 

The lady interrupted him with a weary gesture. 

76 Cabbages and Kings 

" There is no need to continue your insults," she 
said, coldly. " I do not understand what you are 
saying, nor do I know what mad blunder you are 
making; but if the inspection of the contents of a 
gentleman's portmanteau will rid me of you, let us 
delay it no longer." 

She passed quickly and noiselessly into the other 
room, and returned with the heavy leather valise, 
which she handed to the American with an air of 
patient contempt. 

Goodwin set the valise quickly upon the table and 
began to unfasten the straps. The lady stood by, 
with an expression of infinite scorn and weariness 
upon her face. 

The valise opened wide to a powerful, sidelong 
wrench. Goodwin dragged out two or three articles 
of clothing, exposing the bulk of its contents — 
package after package of tightly packed United 
States bank and treasury notes of large denomina- 
tion. Reckoning from the high figures written upon 
the paper bands that bound them, the total must have 
come closely upon the hundred thousand mark. 

Goodwin glanced swiftly at the woman, and saw, 
with surprise and a thrill of pleasure that he won- 
dered at, that she had experienced an unmistakable 
shock. Her eyes grew wide, she gasped, and leaned 

Caught 77 

heavily against the table. She had been ignorant, 
then, he inferred, that her companion had looted the 
government treasury. But why, he angrily asked 
himself, should he be so well pleased to think this 
wandering and unscrupulous singer not so black as 
report had painted her? 

A noise in the other room startled them both. 
The door swung open, and a tall, elderly, dark com- 
plexioned man, recently shaven, hurried into the 

All the pictures of President Miraflores represent 
him as the possessor of a luxuriant supply of dark 
and carefully tended whiskers; but the story of the 
barber, Esteban, had prepared Goodwin for the 

The man stumbled in from the dark room, his eyes 
blinking at the lamplight, and heavy from sleep. 

" What does this mean ? " he demanded in excel- 
lent English, with a keen and perturbed look at the 
American — " robbery ? " 

" Very near it," answered Goodwin. " But I 
rather think I'm in time to prevent it. I represent 
the people to whom this money belongs, and I have 
come to convey it back to them." He thrust his 
hand into a pocket of his loose, linen coat. 

The other man's hand went quickly behind him. 

78 Cabbages and Kings 

" Don?t draw," called Goodwin, sharply ; " I've 
got you covered from my pocket." 

The lady stepped forward, and laid one hand upon 
the shoulder of her hesitating companion. She 
pointed to the table. " Tell me the truth — the 
truth," she said, in a low voice. " Whose money is 
that? " 

The man did not answer. He gave a deep, long- 
drawn sigh, leaned and kissed her on the forehead, 
stepped back into the other room and closed the door. 

Goodwin foresaw his purpose, and jumped for the 
door, but the report of the pistol echoed as his hand 
touched the knob. A heavy fall followed, and some 
one swept him aside and struggled into the room of 
the fallen man. 

A desolation, thought Goodwin, greater than that 
derived from the loss of cavalier and gold must have 
been in the heart of the enchantress to have wrung 
frgm her, in that moment, the cry of one turning to 
the all-forgiving, all-comforting earthly consoler — 
to have made her call out from that bloody and dis- 
honoured room — " Oh, mother, mother, mother ! " 

But there was an alarm outside. The barber, 
Esteban, at the sound of the shot, had raised his 
voice; and the shot itself had aroused half the town. 
A pattering of feet came up the street, and official 

Caught 79 

orders rang out on the still air. Goodwin had a 
duty to perform. Circumstances had made him the 
custodian of his adopted country's treasure. Swiftly 
cramming the money into the valise, he closed it, 
leaned far out of the window and dropped it into a 
thick orange-tree in the little inclosure below. 

They will tell you in Coralio, as they delight in 
telling the stranger, of the conclusion of that tragic 
flight. They will tell you how the upholders of the 
law came apace when the alarm was sounded — the 
Comandante in red slippers and a jacket like a head 
waiter's and girded sword, the soldiers with their in- 
terminable guns, followed by outnumbering officers 
struggling into their gold lace and epaulettes; the 
barefooted policemen (the only capables in the lot), 
and ruffled citizens of every hue and description. 

They say that the countenance of the dead man 
was marred sadly by the effects of the shot; but he 
was Identified as the fallen president by both Good- 
win and the barber Esteban. On the next morning 
messages began to come over the mended telegraph 
wire ; and the story of the flight from the capital was 
given out to the public. In San Mateo the revolu- 
tionary party had seized the sceptre of government, 
without opposition, and the vivas of the mercurial 

80 Cabbages and Kings 

populace quickly effaced the interest belonging to 
the unfortunate Miraflores. 

They will relate to you how the new government 
sifted the towns and raked the roads to find the valise 
containing Anchuria's surplus capital, which the 
president was known to have carried with him, but 
all in vain. In Coralio Seiior Goodwin himself led 
the searching party which combed that town as care- 
fully as a woman combs her hair ; but the money was 
not found. 

So they buried the dead man, without honours, 
back of the town near the little bridge that spans the 
mangrove swamp ; and for a real a boy will show you 
his grave. They say that the old woman in whose 
hut the barber shaved the president placed the 
wooden slab at his head, and burned the inscription 
upon it with a hot iron. 

You will hear also that Seiior Goodwin, like a 
tower of strength, shielded Dofia Isabel Guilbert 
through those subsequent distressful days; and that 
his scruples as to her past career (if he had any) 
vanished; and her adventuresome waywardness (if 
she had any) left her, and they were wedded and 
were happy. 

The American built a home on a little foot hill 
near the town. It is a conglomerate structure of 

Caught 81 

native woods that, exported, would be worth a for- 
tune, and of brick, palm, glass, bamboo and adobe. 
There is a paradise of nature about it; and some- 
thing of the same sort within. The natives speak 
of its interior with hands uplifted in admiration. 
There are floors polished like mirrors and covered 
with hand-woven Indian rugs of silk fibre, tall orna- 
ments and pictures, musical instruments and papered 
walls — " figure-it-to-yourself ! " they exclaim. 

But they cannot tell you in Coralio (as you shall 
learn) what became of the money that Frank Good- 
win dropped into the orange-tree. But that shall 
come later; for the palms are fluttering in the 
breeze, bidding us to sport and gaiety. 


1 HE United States of America, after looking over 
its stock of consular timber, selected Mr. John De 
Graffenreid Atwood, of Dalesburg, Alabama, for a 
successor to Willard Geddie, resigned. 

Without prejudice to Mr. Atwood, it will have to 
be acknowledged that, in this instance, it was the 
man who sought the office. As with the self-ban- 
ished Geddie, it was nothing less than the artful 
smiles of lovely woman that had driven Johnny At- 
wood to the desperate expedient of accepting office 
under a despised Federal Government so that he 
might go far, far away and never see again the false, 
fair face that had wrecked his young life. The con- 
sulship at Coralio seemed to offer a retreat suffi- 
ciently removed and romantic enough to inject the 
necessary drama into the pastoral scenes of Dales- 
burg life. 

It was while playing the part of Cupid's exile that 

Johnny added his handiwork to the long list of casu- 


Cupid's Exile Number Two 83 

alties along the Spanish Main by his famous ma- 
nipulation of the shoe market, and his unparalleled 
feat of elevating the most despised and useless weed 
in his own country from obscurity to be a valuable 
product in international commerce. 

The trouble began, as trouble often begins instead 
of ending, with a romance. In Dalesburg there was 
a man named Elijah Hemstetter, who kept a general 
store. His family consisted of one daughter called 
Rosine, a name that atoned much for " Hemstetter." 
This young woman was possessed of plentiful attrac- 
tions, so that the young men of the community were 
agitated in their bosoms. Among the more agitated 
was Johnny, the son of Judge Atwood, who lived in 
the big colonial mansion on the edge of Dalesburg. 

It would seem that the desirable Rosine should 
have been pleased to return the affection of an At- 
wood, a name honoured all over the state long before 
and since the war. It does, seem that she should have 
gladly consented to have been led into that stately 
but rather empty colonial mansion. But not so. 
There was- a cloud on the horizon, a threatening, 
cumulus cloud, in the shape of a lively and shrewd 
young farmer in the neighbourhood who dared to 
enter the lists as a rival to the high-bom Atwood. 

O"*^ night Johnny propounded to Rosine a ques- 

84 Cabbages and Kings 

tion that IS considered of much importance by the 
young of the human species. The accessories were 
all there — moonlight, oleanders, magnolias, the 
mock-bird's song. Whether or no the shadow of 
Pinkney Dawson, the prosperous young farmer came 
between them on that occasion is not known; but 
Rosine's answer was unfavourable. Mr. John De 
Graffenreid Atwood bowed till his hat touched the 
lawn grass, and went away with his head high, but 
with a sore wound in his pedigree and heart. A 
Hemstetter refuse an Atwood! Zounds! 

Among other accidents of that year was a Demo- 
cratic president. Judge Atwood was a warhorse of 
Democracy. Johnny persuaded him to set the 
wheels moving for some foreign appointment. He 
would go away — away. Perhaps in years to come 
Rosine would think how tjTue, how faithful his love 
had been, and would drop a tear — maybe in the 
cream she would be skimming for Pink Dawson's 

The wheels of politics revolved; and Johnny was 
appointed consul to Coralio. Just before leaving 
he dropped in at Hemstetter's to say good-bye. 
There was a queer, pinkish look about Rosine's eyes ; 
and had the two been alone, the United States might 
have had to cast about for another consul. But 

Cupid's Eocile Number Two 85 

Pink Dawson was there, of course, talking about his 
400-acre orchard, and the three-mile alfalfa tract, 
and the 200-acre pasture. So Johnny shook hands 
with Rosine as coolly as if he were only going to run 
up to Montgomery for a couple of days. They had 
the royal manner when they chose, those At woods. 

" If you happen to strike anything in the way of 
a good investment down there, Johnny," said Pink 
Dawson, "just let me know, will you? I reckon I 
could lay my hands on a few extra thousands 'most 
any time for a profitable deal." 

" Certainly, Pink," said Johnny, pleasantly. " If 
I strike anything of the sort I'll let you in with 

So Johnny went down to Mobile and took a fruit 
steamer for the coast of Anchuria. 

When the new consul arrived in Coralio the 
strangeness of the scenes diverted him much. He 
was only twenty-two; and the grief of youth is not 
worn like a garment as it is by older men. It has 
its seasons when it reigns; and then it is unseated 
for a time by the assertion of the keen senses. 

Billy Keogh and Johnny seemed to conceive a 
mutual friendship at once. Keogh took the new con- 
sul about town and presented him to the handful of 
Americans and the smaller number of French and 

86 Cabbages and Kings 

Germans who made up the " foreign " contingent. 
And then, of course, he had to be more formally in- 
troduced to the native officials, and have his creden- 
tials transmitted through an interpreter. 

There was something about the young Southerner 
that the sophisticated Keogh liked. His manner 
was simple almost to boyishness; but he possessed 
the cool carelessness of a man of far greater age and 
experience. Neither uniforms nor titles, red tape 
nor foreign languages, mountains nor sea weighed 
upon his spirits. He was heir to all the ages, an 
Atwood, of Dalesburg; and you might know every 
thought conceived in his bosom. 

Geddie came down to the consulate to explain the 
duties and workings of the office. He and Keogh 
tried to interest the new consul in their description 
of the work that his government expected him to 

" It's all right," said Johnny from the hammock 
that he had set up as the official reclining place. 
" If anything turns up that has to be done I'll let 
you fellows do it. You can't expect a Democrat to 
work during his first term of holding office." 

" You might look over these headings," suggested 
Geddie, " of the different lines of exports you will 
have to keep account of. The fruit is classified; 

Cupid's Eonle Number Two 87 

and there are the valuable woods, coffee, rubber — " 

" That last account sounds all right," interrupted 
Mr. Atwood. " Sounds as if it could be stretched. 
I want to buy a new flag, a monkey, a guitar and 
a barrel of pineapples. Will that rubber account 
stretch over 'em ? " 

" That's merely statistics," said Geddie, smiling. 
" The expense account is what you want. It is 
supposed to have a slight elasticity. The * station- 
ery ' items are sometimes carelessly audited by the 
State Department." 

" We're wasting our time," said Keogh. " This 
man was born to hold office. He penetrates to the 
root of the art at one step of his eagle eye. The 
true genius of government shows its hand in every 
word of his speech." 

" I didn't take this job with any intention of work- 
ing," explained Johnny, lazily. " I wanted to go 
somewhere in the world where they didn't talk about 
farms. There are none here, are there? " 

" Not the kind you are acquainted with," answered 
the ex-consul. " There is no such art here as agri- 
culture. There never was a plow or a reaper within 
the boundaries of Anchuria." 

" This is the country for me," murmured the con- 
sul, and immediately he fell asleep. 

88 Cabbages and Kings 

The cheerful tintypist pursued his intimacy with 
Johnny in spite of open charges that he did so to 
obtain a preemption on a seat in that coveted spot, 
the rear gallery of the consulate. But whether his 
designs were selfish or purely friendly, Keogh 
achieved that desirable privilege. Few were the 
nights on which the two could not be found reposing 
there in the sea breeze, with their heels on the railing, 
and the cigars and brandy conveniently near. 

One evening they sat thus, mainly silent, for their 
talk had dwindled before the stilling influence of an 
unusual night. 

There was a great, full moon; and the sea was 
mother-of-pearl. Almost every sound was hushed, 
for the air wa^ but faintly stirring; and the town 
lay panting, waiting for the night to cool. Off- 
shore lay the fruit steamer AndadoTy of the Vesuvius 
line, full-laden and scheduled to sail at six in the 
morning. There were no loiterers on the beach. So 
bright was the moonlight that the two men could see 
the small pebbles shining on the beach where the 
gentle surf wetted them. 

Then down the coast, tacking close to shore, slowly 
swam a little sloop, white-winged like some snowy 
sea fowl. Its course lay within twenty points of the 
wind's eye; so it veered in and out again in long, 

Cupid's Exile Number Two 89 

slow strokes like the movements of a graceful skater. 

Again the tactics of its crew brought it close in 
shore, this time nearly opposite the consulate; and 
then there blew from the sloop clear and surprising 
notes as if from a horn of elfland. A fairy bugle 
it might have been, sweet and silvery and unexpected, 
playing with spirit the familiar air of " Home, 
Sweet Home." 

It was a scene set for the land of the lotus. The 
authority of the sea and the tropics, the mystery that 
attends unknown sails, and the prestige of drifting 
music on moonlit waters gave it an anodynous 
charm. Johnny Atwood felt it, and thought of 
Dalesburg; but as soon as Keogh's mind had ar- 
rived at a theory concerning the peripatetic solo he 
sprang to the railing, and his ear-rending yawp 
fractured the silence of Coralio like a cannon shot. 

" Mel-lin-ger a-hoy ! " 

The sloop was now on its outward tack ; but from 
it came a clear, answering hail: 

" Good-bye, Billy . . . go-ing home — bye ! " 

The Andador was the sloop's destination. No 
doubt some passenger with a sailing permit from 
some up-the-coast point had come down in this sloop 
to catch the regular fruit steamer on its return trip. 
Like a coquettish pigeon the little boat tacked on its 

90 Cabbages and Kings 

eccentric way until at last its white sail was lost to 
sight against the larger bulk of the fruiter's side. 

" That's old H. P. Mellinger," explained Keogh, 
dropping back into his chair. " He's going back to 
New York. He was private secretary of the late 
hot-foot president of this grocery and fruit stand 
that they call a country. His job's over. now; and 
I guess old Mellinger is glad." 

" Why does he disappear to music, like Zo-zo, the 
magic queen? " asked Johnny. " Just to show 'em 
that he doesn't care ? " 

" That noise you heard is a phonograph," said 
Keogh. " I sold him that. Mellhiger had a graft 
in this country that was the^only thing of its kind 
in the world. The tooting machine saved it for him 
once, and he always carried it around with him after- 

" Tell me about it," demanded Johnny, betraying 

" I'm no disseminator of narratives," said Keogh. 
" I can use language for purposes of speech ; but 
when I attempt a discourse the words come out as 
they will, and they may make sense when they strike 
the atmosphere, or they may not." 

" I want to hear about that graft," persisted 
Johnny. " You've got no right to refuse. I've 

Cupid's ExiU Nnmber Two 91 

told you all about every man, woman and hitching 
post in Dalesburg." 

" You shall hear it," said Keogh. " I said my 
instincts of narrative were perplexed. Don't you 
believe it. It's an art I've acquired along with 
many other of the graces and sciences." 


**WhAT was this graft?'' asked Johnny, with 
the impatience of the great public to whom tales are 

" 'Tis contrary to art and philosophy to give you 
the information," said Keogh, calmly. " The art of 
narrative consists in concealing from your audience 
everything it wants to know until after you expose 

■ — • 

your favourite opinions on topics foreign to the sub- 
ject. A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar 
coating inside of it. I will begin, if you please, with 
a horoscope located in the Cherokee Nation; and end 
with a moral tune on the phonograph. 

" Me and Henry HorsecoUar brought the first 
phonograph to this country. Henry was a quarter- 
breed, quarter-back Cherokee, educated East in the 
idioms of football, and West in contraband whisky, 
and a gentleman, the same as you and me. He was 
easy and romping in his ways ; a man about six foot, 

with a kind of rubber-tire movement. Yes, he wag a 


The Phonograph and the Graft 93 

little man about five foot five, or five foot eleven. 
He was what you would call a medium tall man of 
average smallness. Henry had quit college once, 
and the Muscogee jail three times — the last-named 
institution on account of introducing and selling 
whisky in the territories. Henry Horsecollar never 
let any cigar stores come up and stand behind him. 
He didn't belong to that tribe of Indians. 

" Henry and me met at Texarkana, and figured 
out this phonograph scheme. He had $360 which 
came to him out of a land allotment in the reserva- 
tion. I had run down from Little Rock on account 
of a distressful scene I had witnessed on the street 
there. A man stood on a box and passed around 
some gold watches, screw case, stem-winders, Elgin 
movement, very elegant. Twenty bucks they cost 
you over the counter. At three dollars the crowd 
fought for the tickers. The man happened to find 
a valise full of them handy, and he passed them out 
like putting hot biscuits on a plate. The backs were 
hard to unscrew, but the crowd put its ear to the 
case, and they ticked mollifying and agreeable. 
Three of these watches were genuine tickers ; the 
rest were only kickers. Hey? Why, empty cases 
with one of them horny black bugs that fly around 
electric lights in 'em. Them bugs kick off minutes 

94 Cabbages and Kings 

and seconds industrious and beautiful. So, this 
man I was speaking of cleaned up $288 ; and then he 
went away, because he knew that when it came time 
to wind watches in Little Rock an entomologist would 
be needed, and he wasn't one. 

" So, as I say, Henry had $360, and I had $888. 
The idea of introducing the phonograph to South 
America was Henry's; but I took to it freely, being 
fond of machinery of all kinds. 

" * The Latin races,' says Henry, explaining easy 
in the idioms he learned at college, ^ are peculiarly 
adapted to be victims of the phonograph. They 
have the artistic temperament. They yearn for 
music and color and gaiety. They give wampum to 
the hand-organ man and the four-legged chicken in 
the tent when they're months behind with the grocery 
and the bread-fruit tree.' 

" * Then,' says I, * we'll export canned music to 
the Latins; but I'm mindful of Mr. Julius Caesar's 
account of 'em where he says : " Omnia Gallia in 
tres partes divisa est; ** which is the same as to say, 
" We will need all of our gall in devising means to 
tree them parties." ' 

" I hated to make a show of education ; but I 
was disinclined to be overdone in syntax by a mere 
Indian, a member of a race to which we owe nothing 

The Phonograph arid the Graft 95 

except the land on which the United States is sit- 

" We bought a fine phonograph in Texarkana — 
one of the best make — and half a trunkful of rec- 
ords. We packed up, and took the T. and P. for 
New Orleans. From that celebrated centre of mo- 
lasses and disfranchised coon songs we took a steamer 
for South America. 

" We landed at Solitas, forty miles up the coast 
from here. 'Twas a palatable enough place to look 
at. The houses were clean and white; and to look 
at 'em stuck around among the scenery they re- 
minded you of hard-boiled eggs served with lettuce. 
Th^re was a block of skyscraper mountains in the 
suburbs; and they kept pretty quiet, like they had 
crept up there and were watching the town. And 
the sea was remarking * Sh-sh-sh ' on the beach ; 
and now and then a ripe cocoanut would drop ker- 
blip in the sand; and that was all there was doing. 
Yes, I judge that town was considerably on the quiet. 
I judge that after Gabriel quits blowing his horn, 
and the car starts, with Philadelphia swinging to the 
last strap, and Pine Gully, Arkansas, hanging onto 
the rear step, this town of Solitas will wake up and 
ask if anybody spoke. 

" The captain went ashore with us, and offered to 

96 Cabbages and Kings 

conduct what he seemed to like to call the obsequies. 
He introduced Henry and me to the United States 
Consul, and a roan man, the head of the Department 
of Mercenary and Licentious Dispositions, the way 
it read upon his sign. 

" * I touch here again a week from to-day,' says 
the captain. 

" * By that time,' we told him, * we'll be amassing 
wealth in the interior towns with our galvanized 
prima donna and correct imitations of Sousa's band 
excavating a march from a tin mine.' 

" ' Ye'U not,' says the captain. * Ye'U be hypno- 
tized. Any gentleman in the audience who kindly 
steps upon the stage and looks this country in the 
eye will be converted to the hypothesis that he's but 
a fly in the Elgin creamery. Ye'U be standing knee 
deep in the surf waiting for me, and your machine 
for making Hamburger steak out of the hitherto re- 
spected art of music will be playing " There's no 
place like home." ' 

" Henry skinned a twenty off his roll, and received 
from the Bureau of Mercenary Dispositions a paper 
bearing a red seal and a dialect story, and no change. 

" Then we got the consul full of red wine, and 
struck him for a horoscope. He was a thin, young- 
ish kind of man, I should say past fifty, sort of 

The Phonograph and the Graft 97 

French-Irish in his affections, and puffed up with 
disconsolation. Yes, he was a flattened kind of a 
man, in whom drink lay stagnant, inclined to cor- 
pulence and misery. Yes, I think he was a kind of 
Dutchman, being very sad and genial in his ways. 

" * The marvelous invention,' he says, * entitled 
the phonograph, has never invaded these shores. 
The people have never heard it. They would not 
believe it if they should. Simple-hearted children 
of nature, progress has never condemned them to ac- 
cept the work of a can-opener as an overture, and 
rag-time might incite them to a bloody revolution. 
But you can try the experiment. The best chance 
you have is that the populace may not wake up when 
you play. There's two ways,' says the consul, 
* they may take it. They may become inebriated 
with attention, like an Atlanta colonel listening to 
" Marching Through Georgia," or they will get ex- 
cited and transpose the key of the music with an axe 
and yourselves into a dungeon. In the latter case,' 
says the consul, * I'll do my duty by cabling to the 
State Department, and I'll wrap the Stars and Stripes 
around you when you come to be shot, and threaten 
them with the vengeance of the greatest gold export 
and financial reserve nation on earth. The flag is 
full of bullet holes now,' says the consul, ' made in 

98 Cabbages and Kings 

that way. Twice before,' says the consul, * I have 
cabled our government for a couple of gunboats to 
protect American citizens. The first time the De- 
partment sent me a pair of gum boots. The other 
time was when a man named Pease was going to be 
executed here. They referred that appeal to the 
Secretary of Agriculture. Let us now disturb the 
senor behind the bar for a subsequence of the red 

" Thus soliloquized the consul of Solitas to me 
and Henry HorsecoUar. 

** But, notwithstanding, we hired a room thai 
afternoon in the Calle de los Angeles, the main street 
that runs along the shore, and put our trunks there. 
'Twas a good-sized room, dark and cheerful, but 
small. 'Twas on a various street, diversified by 
houses and conservatory plants. The peasantry of 
the city passed to and fro on the fine pasturage be- 
tween the sidewalks. 'Twas, for the world, like an 
opera chorus when the Royal Kafoozlum is about to 

" We were rubbing the dust off the machine and 
getting fixed to start business the next day, when a 
big, fine-looking white man in white clothes stopped 
at the door and looked in. We extended the invita- 
tions, and he walked inside and sized us up. He 

The Phonograph and the Graft 99 

was chewing a long cigar, and wrinkling his eyes, 
meditative, like a girl trying to decide which dress 
to wear to the party. 

"* New York? ' he says to me finally. 

" * Originally, and from time to time,* I says. 
* Hasn't it rubbed off yet? ' 

" * It's simple,' says he, * when you know how. 
It's the fit of the vest. They don't cut vests right 
anywhere else. Coats, maybe, but not vests.' 

" The white man looks at Henry Horsecollar and 

"'Injun,' says Henry; * tame Injun.' 

" ' Mellinger,' says the man — * Homer P. Mel- 
linger. Boys, you're confiscated. You're babes in 
the wood without a chaperon or referee, and it's my 
duty to start you going. I'll knock out the props 
and launch you proper in the pellucid waters of this 
tropical mud puddle. You'll have to be christened, 
and if you'll come with me I'll break a bottle of wine 
across your bows, according to Hoyle.' 

"Well, for two days Homer P. Mellinger did the 
honors. That man cut ice in Anchuria. He was 
It. He was the Royal Kafoozlum. If me and 
Henry was babes in the wood, he was a Robin Red- 
breast from the topmost bough. Him and me and 
H<»nry Horsecollar locked arms, and toted that 

100 Cabbages and Kings 

phonograph around, and had wassail and diversions. 
Everywhere we found doors open we went inside 
and set the machine going, and Mellinger called 
upon the people to observe the artful music and his 
two lifelong friends, the Seiiors Americanos. The 
opera chorus was agitated with esteem, and followed* 
us from house to house. There was a different kind 
of drink to be had with every tune. The natives 
had acquirements of a pleasant think in the way of 
a drink that gums itself to the recollection. They 
chop off the end of a green cocoanut, and pour in on 
the juice of it French brandy and other adjuvants. 
We had them and other things. 

" Mine and Henry's money was counterfeit. 
Everything was on Homer P. Mellinger. That 
man could find rolls of bills concealed in places 
on his person where Hermann the Wizard couldn't 
have conjured out a rabbit or an omelette. He 
could have founded universities, and made orchid 
collections, and then had enough left to purchase 
the colored vote of his country. Henry and me 
wondered what his graft was. One evening he told 

" ' Boys,' said he, * I've deceived you. You think 
I'm a painted butterfly; but in fact I'm the hardest 
worked man in this country. Ten years ago I 


The Phonograph and the Graft 101 

landed on its shores ; and two years ago on the point 
of its jaw. Yes, I guess I can get the decision over 
this ginger cake commonwealth at the end of any 
round I choose. I'll confide in you because you are 
my countrymen and guests, even if you have as- 
saulted my adopted shores with the worst system of 
noises ever set to music. 

" * My job is private secretary to the president of 
this republic; and my duties are running it. I'm not 
headlined in the bills, but I'm the mustard in the 
salad dressing just the same. There isn't a law 
goes before Congress, there isn't a concession 
granted, there isn't an import duty levied but what 
H. P. Mellinger he cooks and seasons it. In the 
front oflSce I fill the president's inkstand and search 
visiting statesmen for dirks and dynamite ; but in the 
back room I dictate the policy of the government. 
You'd never guess in the world how I got my pull. 
It's the only graft of its kind on earth. I'll put you 
wise. You remember the old top-liner in the copy 
book —" Honesty is the Best Policy?" That's it. 
I'm working honesty for a graft. I'm the only hon- 
est man in the republic. The government knows it; 
the people know it; the boodlers know it; the for- 
eign investors know it. I make the government keep 
its faitbf If a man is promised a job he gets it. If 

102 Cabbages and Kings 

outside capital buys a concession it gets the goods. 
I run a monopoly of square dealing here. There's 
no competition. If Colonel Diogenes were to flash 
his lantern in this precinct he'd have my address in- 
side of two minutes. There isn't big money in it, 
but it's a sure thing, and le^s a man sleep of nights.' 

" Thus Homer P. Mellinger made oration to me 
and Henry HorsecoUar. And, later, he divested 
himself of this remark: 

" * Boys, I'm to hold a soiree this evening with a 
gang of leading citizens, and I want your assistance. 
You bring the musical com sheller and give the affair 
the outside appearance of a function. There's im- 
portant business on hand, but it mustn't show. I 
can talk to you people. I've been pained for years 
on account of not having anybody to blow off and 
brag to. I get homesick sometimes, and I'd swap 
the entire perquisites of office for just one hour to 
have a stein and a caviare sandwich somewhere on 
Thirty-fourth Street, and stand and watch the 
street cars go by, and smell the peanut roaster at 
old Giuseppe's fruit stand.' 

" * Yes,' said I, * there's fine caviare at Billy Ren- 
frow'3 cafe, comer of Thirty-fourth and — ' 

" * God knows it,' interrupts Mellinger, * and if 
you'd told me you knew Billy Renfrow I'd have in- 

The Phonograph and the Graft 103 

vented tons of ways of making you happy. Billy 
was my side-kicker in New York. There Is a man 
who never knew what crooked was. Here I am work- 
ing Honesty for a graft, but that man loses money 
on it. Carrambos! I get sick at times of this coun- 
try. Everything's rotten. From the executive 
down to the coffee pickers, they're plotting to down 
each other and skin their friends. If a mule driver 
takes off his hat to an oflScIal, that man figures It out 
that he's a popular Idol, and sets his pegs to stir up 
a revolution and upset the administration. It's one 
of my little chores as private secretary to smell out 
these revolutions and affix the kibosh before they 
break out and scratch the paint off the government 
property. That's why I'm down here now In this 
mildewed coast town. The governor of the district and 
his crew are plotting to uprise. I've got every one 
of their names, and they're invited to listen to the 
phonograph to-night, compliments of H. P. M. 
That's the way I'll get them In a bunch, and things 
are on the programme to happen to them.' 

" We three were sitting at table In the cantlna of 
the Purified Saints. Melllnger poured out wine, 
and was looking some worried ; I was thinking. 

" * They're a sharp crowd,' he says, kind of fret- 
ful. * They're capitalized by a foreign syndicate 

104 Cabbages and Kings 

after rubber, and they're loaded to the muzzle for 
bribing. I'm sick,' goes on Mellinger, * of comic 
opera. I want to smell East River and wear sus- 
penders again. At times I feel like throwing up my 
job, but I'm d — n fool enough to be sort of proud of 
it. " There's Mellinger," they say here. " Por 
Diosl you can't touch him with a million." I'd like 
to take that record back and show it to Billy Ren- 
frow some day; and that tightens my grip whenever 
I see a fat thing that I could corral just by winking 
one eye — and losing my graft. By — , they 
can't monkey with me. They know it. What 
money I get I make honest and spend it. Some day 
I'll make a pile and go back' and eat caviare with 
Billy. To-night I'll show you how to handle a 
bunch of corruptionists. I'll show them what Mel- 
linger, private secretary, means when you spell it 
with the cotton and tissue paper off.' 

" Mellinger appears shaky, and breaks his glass 
against the neck of the bottle. 

" I says to myself, * White man, if I'm not mis- 
taken there's been a bait laid out where the tail of 
your eye could see it.' 

" That night, according to arrangements, me and 
Henry took the phonograph to a room in a 'dobe 
house in a dirty side street, where the grass was knee 

The Phonograph and the Graft 105 

high. 'Twas a long room, lit with smoky oil lamps. 
There was plenty of chairs, and a table at the back 
end. We set the phonograph on the table. Mel- 
linger was there, walking up and down, disturbed in 
his predicaments. He chewed cigars and spat 'em 
out, and he bit the thumb nail of his left hand. 

" By and by the invitations to the musicale came 
sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. 
Their colour was of a diversity, running from a 
three-days' smoked meerschaum to a patent-leather 
polish. They were as polite as wax, being devas- 
tated with enjoyments to give Senor Mellinger the 
good evenings. I understood their Spanish talk — 
I ran a pumping engine two years in a Mexican silver 
mine, and had it pat — but I never let on. 

" Maybe fifty of 'em had come, and was seated, 
when in slid the king bee, the governor of the dis- 
trict. Mellinger met him at the door, and escorted 
him to the grand stand. When I saw that Latin 
man I knew that Mellinger, private secretary, had all 
the dances on his card taken. That was a big, 
squashy man, the colour of a rubber overshoe, and 
he had an eye like a head waiter's. 

" Mellinger explained, fluent, in the Castilian 
idioms, that his soul was disconcerted with joy at 
introducing to his respected friends America's great- 

106 Cabbages and Kings 

est invention, the wonder of the age. Henry got the 
cue and run on an elegant brass-band record and 
the festivities became initiated. The governor man 
had a bit of English under his hat, and when the 
music was choked off he says: 

" * Ver-r-ree fine. Gr-r-r-r-racias, the American 
gentleemen, the so esplendeed moosic as to playee.' 

" The table was a long one, and Henry and me sat 
at the end of it next the wall. The governor sat at 
the other end. Homer P. Mellinger stood at the 
side of it. I was just wondering how Mellinger was 
going to handle his crowd, when the home talent 
suddenly opened the services. 

" That governor man was suitable for uprisings 
and policies. I judge he was a ready kind of man, 
who took his own time. Yes, he was full of atten- 
tion and immediateness. He leaned his hands on 
the table and imposed his face toward the secretary 

" * Do the American senors understand Spanish? ' 
he asks in his native accents. 

* They do not,' says Mellinger. 
Then listen,' goes on the Latin man, prompt. 
* The musics are of sufficient prettiness, but not of 
necessity. Let us speak of business. I well know 
why we are here, since I observe my compatriots. 

The Phonograph and the Graft 107 

You had a whisper yesterday, Seiior Mellinger, of 
our proposals. To-night we will speak out. We 
know that you stand in the president's favour, and 
we know your influence. The government will be 
changed. We know the worth of your services. We 
esteem your friendship and aid so much that ' — 
Mellinger raises his hand, but the governor man bot- 
tles him up. * Do not speak until I have done.' 

" The governor man then draws a package 
wrapped in paper from his pocket, and lays it on the 
table by Mellinger's hand. 

" * In that you will find fifty thousand dollars in 
money of your country. You can do nothing against 
us, but you can be worth that for us. Go back to 
the capital and obey our instructions. Take that 
money now. We trust you. You will find with it 
a paper giving in detail the work you will be ex- 
pected to do for us. Do not have the unwiseness to 

" The governor man paused, with his eyes fixed 
on Mellinger, full of expressions and observances. I 
looked at Mellinger, and was glad Billy Renfrow 
couldn't see him then. The sweat was popping out 
on his forehead, and he stood dumb, tapping the lit- 
tle package with the ends of his fingers. The colo- 
rado-maduro gang was after his graft. He had only 

108 Cabbages and Kings 

to change his politics, and stuff five iSngers in his in- 
side pocket. 

** Henry whispers to me and wants the pause in 
the programme interpreted. I whisper back : * H. 
P. is up against a bribe, senator's size, and the 
coons have got him going.' I saw Mellinger's hand 
moving closer to the package. * He's weakening,' I 
whispered to Henry. * We'll remind him,' says 
Henry, * of the peanut-roaster on Thirty-fourth 
Street, New York.' 

" Henry stooped down and got a record from the 
basketful we'd brought, slid it in the phonograph, 
and started her off. It was a cornet solo, very neat 
and beautiful, and the name of it was * Home, Sweet 
Home.' Not one of them fifty odd men in the room 
*noved while it was playing, and the governor man 
kept his eyes steady on Mellinger. I saw Mellinger's 
head go up little by little, and his hand came creep- 
ing away from the package. Not until the last note 
sounded did anybody stir. And then Homer P. Mel- 
linger takes up the bundle of boodle and slams it in 
the governor man's face. 

" * That's my answer,' says Mellinger, private sec- 
retary, * and there'll be another in the morning. I 
have proofs of conspiracy against every man of you. 
The show is over, gentlemen.' 

The Phonograph and the Graft 109 

*^ * There's one more act,' puts in the governor 
man. * You are a servant, I believe, employed by 
the president to copy letters and answer raps at the 
door. I am governor here. Senores, I call upon 
you in the name of the cause to seize this man.' 

" That brindled gang of conspirators shoved back 
their chairs and advanced in force. I could see 
where Mellinger had made a mistake m massing his 
enemy so as to make a grand-stand play. I think he 
made another one, too; but we can pass that, Mel- 
Jinger's idea of a graft and mine being different, ac- 
cording to estimations and points of view. 

" There was only one window and door in that 
room, and they were in the front end. Here was 
fifty odd Latin men coming in a bunch to obstruct 
the legislation of Mellinger. You may say there 
were three of us, for me and Henry, simultaneous, 
declared New York City and the Cherokee Nation in 
sympathy with the weaker party. 

" Then it was that Henry Horsecollar rose to a 
point of disorder and intervened, showing, admirable, 
the advantages of education as applied to the Ameri- 
can Indian's natural intellect and native refinement. 
He stood up and smoothed back his hair on each side 
with his hands as you have seen little girls do when 
they play. 

110 Cabbages and Kings 

" * Get behind me, both of you,' says Henry. 

" * What's it to be, chief? ' I asked. 

*' ' I'm going to buck centre,' says Henry, in his 
football idioms. * There isn't a tackle in the lot of 
them. Follow me close, and rush the game.' 

" Then that cultured Red Man exhaled an ar- 
rangement of sounds with his mouth that made the 
Latin aggregation pause, with thoughtfulness and 
hesitations. The matter of his proclamation seemed 
to be a co-operation of the Carlisle war-whoop with 
the Cherokee college yell. He went at the chocolate 
team like a bean out of a little boy's nigger shooter. 
His right elbow laid out the governor man on the 
gridiron, and he made a lane the length of the crowd 
so wide that a woman could have carried a step-lad- 
der through it without striking against anything. 
All Mellinger and me had to do was to follow. 

" It took us just three minutes to get out of that 
street around to military headquarters, where Mel- 
linger had things his own way. A colonel and a 
battalion of bare-toed infantry turned out and went 
back to the scene of the musicale with us, but the 
conspirator gang was gone. But we recaptured the 
phonograph with honours of war, and marched back 
to the cuartel with it playing * All Coons Look Alike 
to Me.' 

The Phonograph and the Graft 111 

" The next day Mellinger takes me and Henry to 
one side, and begins to shed tens and twenties. 

" * I want to buy that phonograph,' says he. * I 
liked that last tune it played at the soiree.* 

" * This is more money than the machine is worth,' 
says I. 

" * 'Tis government expense money,' says Mel- 
linger. * The government pays for it, and it's get- 
ting the tune-grinder cheap.' 

" Me and Henry knew that pretty well. We knew 
that it had saved Homer P. MelHnger's graft when 
he was on the point of losing it ; but we never let him 
know we knew it. 

" * Now you boys better slide off further down the 
coast for a while,' says Mellinger, * till I get the 
screws put on these fellows here. If you don't they'll 
give you trouble. And if you ever happen to see 
Billy Renfrow again before I do, tell him I'm coming 
back to New York as soon as I can make a stake — 

" Me and Henry laid low until the day the steamer 
came back. When we saw the captain's boat on the 
beach we went down and stood in the edge of the 
water. The captain grinned when he saw us. 

" * I told you you'd be waiting,' he says. ' Where's 
the Hamburger machine.'^ ' 

112 Cabbages and Kings 

" * It stays behind,' I says, * to play " Home, ^ 
Sweet Home." ' 

'* * I told you so,' says the captain again. * Climb 
in the boat.' 

" And that," said Keogh, " Is the way me and 
Henry HorsecoUar Introduced the phonograph into 
this country. Henry went back to the States, but 
I've been rummaging around In the tropics ever since. 
They say Melllnger never travelled a mile after that 
without his phonograph. I guess It kept him re- 
minded about his graft whenever he saw the siren 
voice of the boodler tip him the wink with a bribe in 
Its hand." 

" I suppose he's taking It home with him as a 
souvenir," remarked the consul. 

" Not as a souvenir," said Keogh. " He'll need 
two 6t 'em in New York, running day and night." 


1 HE new administration of Anchuria entered 
upon its duties and privileges with enthusiasm. Its 
first act was to send an agent to Coralio with imper- 
ative orders to recover, if possible, the sum of money 
ravished from the treasury by the ill-fated Miraflores. 

Colonel Emilio Falcon, the private secretary of 
Losada, the new president, was despatched from the 
capital upon this important mission. 

The position of private secretary to a tropical 
president is a responsible one. He must be a dip- 
plomat, a spy, a ruler of men, a body-guard to his 
chief, and a smeller-out of plots and nascent revo- 
lutions. Often he is the power behind the throne, 
the dictator of policy; and a president chooses him 
with a dozen times the care with which he selects a 
matrimonial mate. 

Colonel Falcon, a handsome and urbane gentle- 
man of Castilian courtesy and debonnaire manners, 

came to Coralio with the task before him of striking 


114 Cabbages and Kings 

upon the cold trail of the lost money. There he con- 
ferred with the military authorities, who had received 
instructions to co-operate with him in the search. 

Colonel Falcon established his headquarters in one 
of the rooms of the Casa Morena. Here for a week 
he held informal sittings — much as if he were a 
kind of. unified grand jury — and summoned before 
him^ all those whose testimony might illumine the 
financial tragedy that had accompanied the less mo- 
mentous one of the late president's death. 

Two or three who were thus examined, among 
whom was the barber Esteban, declared that they 
had identified the body of the president before its 

" Of a truth," testified Esteban before the mighty 
secretary, " it was he, the president. Consider ! — 
how could I shave a man and not see his face? He 
sent for me to shave him in a small house. He had a 
beard very black and thick. Had I ever seen the 
president before? Why not? I saw him once ride 
forth in a carriage from the vapor in Solitas. When 
I shaved him he gave me a gold piece, and said there 
was to be no talk. But I am a Liberal — I am de- 
voted to my country — and I spake of these things 
to Seiior Goodwin." 

" It is known," said Colonel Falcon, smoothly. 

Money Maze 115 

" that the late President took with him an American . 
leather valise, containing a large amount of money. 
Did you see that ? " 

" De veras — no," Esteban answered. " The 
light in the little house was but a small lamp by 
which I could scarcely see to shave the President. 
Such a thing there may have been, but I did not see 
it. No. Also in the room was a young lady — a 
seiiorita of much beauty — that I could see even in 
so small a light. But the money, senor, or the thing 
in which it was carried — that I did not see." 

The comandante and other officers gave testi- 
mony that they had been awakened and alarmed by 
the noise of a pistol-shot in the Hotel de los Es- 
tranjeros. Hurrying thither to protect the peace 
and dignity of the republic, they found a man lying 
dead, with a pistol clutched in his hand. Beside 
him was a young woman, weeping sorely. Senor 
Goodwin was also in the room when they entered it. 
But of the valise of money they saw nothing. 

Madame Timotea Ortiz, the proprietress of the 
hotel in which the game of Fox-in-the-Moming had 
been played out, told of the coming of the two guests 
to her house. 

** To my house they came," said she — " one senor, 
not quite old, and one senorita of sufficient handsome- 

116 Cabbages and Kings 

ness. They desired not to eat or to drink — not 
even of my aguardiente, which is the best. To their 
rooms they ascended — Numero Nueve and Numero 
Diez. Later came Senor Goodwin, who ascended to 
speak with them. Then I heard a great noise like 
that of a canon, and they said that the pobre Presi- 
dente had shot himself. Estd hueno. I saw noth- 
ing of money or of the thing you call veliz that you 
say he carried it in." 

Colonel Falcon soon came to the reasonable con- 
clusion that if anyone in Coralio could furnish a clue 
to the vanished money, Frank Goodwin must be the 
man. But the wise secretary pursued a different 
course in seeking information from the American. 
Goodwin was a powerful friend to the new adminis- 
tration, and one who was not to be carelessly dealt 
with in respect to either his honesty or his courage. 
Even the private secretary of His Excellency hesi- 
tated to have this rubber prince and mahogany baron 
haled before him as a common citizen of Anchuria. 
So he sent Goodwin a flowery epistle, each word-petal 
dripping with honey, requesting the favour of an in- 
terview. Groodwin replied with an invitation to din- 
ner at his own house. 

Before the hour named the American walked over 
to the Casa Morena, and greeted his guest frankly 

Money Maze 117 

and friendly. Then the two strolled, in the cool 
of the afternoon, to Goodwin's home m the envi- 

The American left Colonel Falcon in a big, cool, 
shadowed room with a floor of inlaid and polished 
woods that any millionaire in the States would have 
envied, excusing himself for a few minutes. He 
crossed a patiOj shaded with deftly arranged awn- 
ings and plants, and entered a long room looking 
upon the sea in the opposite wing of the house. The 
broad jalousies were opened wide, and the ocean 
breeze flowed in through the room, an invisible cur- 
rent of coolness and health. Goodwin's wife sat near 
one of the windows, making a water-color sketch of 
the afternoon seascape. 

Here was a woman who looked to be happy. And 
more — she looked to be content. Had a poet been 
inspired to pen just similes concerning her favour, he 
would have likened her full, clear eyes, with their 
white-encircled, gray irises, to moonflowcrs. With 
none of the goddesses whose traditional charms have 
become coldly classic would the discerning rhyme- 
ster have compared her. She was purely Paradisaic, 
not Olympian. If you can imagine Eve, after the 
eviction, beguiling the flaming warriors and serenely 
re-entering the Garden, you will have her. Just so 

118 Cabbages and Kings 

human, and still so harmonious with Eden seemed 
Mrs. Goodwin. 

When her husband entered she looked up, and her 
lips curved and parted ; her eyelids fluttered twice or 
thrice— ^ a movement remindful (Poesy forgive us!) 
of the tail-wagging of a faithful dog — and a little 
ripple went through her like the commotion set up in 
a weeping willow by a puff of wind. Thus she ever 
acknowledged his coming, were it twenty times a 
day. If they who sometimes sat over their wine in 
Coralio, reshaping old, diverting stories of the mad- 
cap career of Isabel Guilbert, could have seen the 
wife of Frank Goodwin that afternoon in the estima- 
ble aura of her happy wifehood, they might have dis- 
believed, or have agreed to forget, those graphic 
annals of the life of the one for whom their president 
gave up his country and his honour. 

" I have brought a guest to dinner," said Goodwin. 
'* One Colonel Falcon, from San Mateo. He is come 
on government business. I do not think you will 
care to see him, so I prescribe for you one of those 
convenient and indisputable feminine headaches." 

" He has come to inquire about the lost money, has 
he not?" asked Mrs. Goodwin, going on with her 

" A good guess ! " acknowledged Goodwin. " He 

Money Maze 119 

has been holding an inquisition among the natives 
for three days. I am next on his list of witnesses, 
but as he feels shy about dragging one of Uncle 
Sam's subjects before him, he consents to give it the 
outward appearance of a social function. He will 
apply the torture over my own wine and provender." 

*' Has he found anyone who saw the valise of 
money ? " 

*' Not a soul. Even Madama Ortiz, whose eyes 
are so sharp for the sight of a revenue official, does 
not remember that there was any baggage." 

Mrs. Goodwin laid down her brush and sighed. 

*' I am so sorry, Frank," she said, " that they are 
giving you so much trouble about the money. But 
we can't let them know about it, can we?" 

*' Not without doing our intelligence a great in- 
justice," said Goodwin, with a smile and a shrug that 
he had picked up from the natives. " Americano ^ 
though I am, they would have me in the calahoza in 
half an hour if they kne«v we had appropriated that 
valise. No; we must appear as ignorant about the 
money as the other ignoramuses in Coralio." 

" Do you think that this man they have sent sus- 
pects you ? " she asked, with a little pucker of her 

" He'd better not," said the American, carelessly. 

120 Cabbages and Kings 

" It's lucky that no one caught a sight of the valise 
except myself. As I was in the rooms when the shot 
was fired, it is not surprising that they should want 
to investigate my part in the affair rather closely. 
But there's no cause for alarm. This colonel is 
down on the list of events for a good dinner, with a 
dessert of American * bluff ' that will end the mat- 
ter, I think." 

Mrs. Goodwin rose and walked to the window. 
Goodwin followed and stood by her side. She leaned 
to him, and rested in the protection of his strength, 
as she had always rested since that dark night on 
which he had first made himself her tower of refuge. 
Thus they stood for a little while. 

Straight through the lavish growth of tropical 
branch and leaf and vine that confronted them had 
been cunningly trimmed a vista, that ended at the 
cleared environs of Coralio, on the banks of the man- 
grove swamp. At the other end of the aerial tunnel 
they could see the grave and wooden headpiece that 
bore the name of the unhappy President Miraflores. 
From this window when the rains forbade the open, 
and from the green and shady slopes of Goodwin's 
fruitful lands when the skies were smiling, his wife 
was wont to look upon that grave with a gentle sad- 
ness that was now scarcely a mar to her happiness. 

Money Maze 121 

" I loved him so, Frank ! " she said, " even after 
that terrible flight and its awful ending. And you 
have been so good to me, and have made me so happy. 
It has all grown into such a strange puzzle. If they 
were to find out that we got the money do you think 
they would force you to make the amount good to the 
government? " 

" They would undoubtedly try," answered Good- 
ma, " You are right about its being a puzzle. And 
It must remain a puzzle to Falcon and all his coun- 
trymen until it solves Itself. You and I, who know 
more than anyone else, only know half of the solu- 
tion. We must not let even a hint about this money 
get abroad. Let them come to the theory that the 
president concealed it in the mountains during his 
journey; or that he found means to ship it out of the 
country before he reached Coralio. I don't think 
that Falcon suspects me. He is making a close in- 
vestigation, according to his orders, but he will find 
out nothing." 

Thus they spake together. Had anyone over- 
heard or overseen them as they discussed the lost 
funds of Anchuria there would have been a second 
puzzle presented. For upon the faces and in the 
bearing of each of them was visible (if countenances 
are to be believed) Saxon honesty and pride and 

122 Cabbages and Kings 

honourable thoughts. In Goodwin's steady eye and 
firm lineaments, moulded Into material shape by the 
inward spirit of kindness and generosity and courage, 
there was nothing reconcilable with his words. 

As for his wife, physiognomy championed her 
even in the face of their accusive talk. Nobility was 
in her guise; purity was in her glance. The devo- 
tion that she manifested had not even the appear- 
ance of that feeling that now and then inspires a 
woman to share the guilt of her partner out of the 
pathetic greatness of her love. No, there was a dis- 
crepancy here between what the eye would have seen 
and the ear have heard. 

Dinner was served to Goodwin and his guest in the 
patio, under cool foliage and flowers. The Ameri- 
can begged the illustrious secretary to excuse the ab- 
sence of Mrs. Goodwin, who was suffering, he said, 
from a headache brought on by a slight calentura. 

After the meal they lingered, according to the cus- 
tom, over their coffee and cigars. Colonel Falcon, 
with true Castilian delicacy, waited for his host to 
open the question that they had met to discuss. He 
hiftd not long to wait. As soon as the cigars were 
lighted, the American cleared the way by inquiring 
whether the secretary's investigations in the town had 
furnished him with any clue to the lost funds. 

Money Maze 123 

" I have found no one yet," admitted Colonel Fal- 
con, " who even had sight of the valise or the money. 
Yet I have persisted. It has been proven in the cap- 
ital that President Miraflores set out from San 
Mateo with one hundred thousand dollars belonging 
to the government, accompanied by Senorita Isabel 
Guilbert, the opera singer. The Government, offi- 
cially and personally, is loathe to believe," con- 
cluded Colonel Falcon, with a smile, " that our late 
President's tastes would have permitted him to aban- 
don on the route, as excess baggage, either of the de- 
sirable articles with which his flight was burdened." 

" I suppose you would like to hear what I have to 
say about the affair," said Goodwin, coming directly 
to the point. " It will not require many words. 

" On that night, with others of our friends here, I 
was keeping a lookout for the president, having been 
notified of his flight by a telegram in our national 
cipher from Englehart, one of our leaders in the cap- 
ital. About ten o'clock that night I saw a man and 
a woman hurrying along the streets. They went to 
the Hotel de los Estranjeros, and engaged rooms. 
I followed them upstairs, leaving Esteban, who had 
come up, to watch outside. The barber had told me 
that he had shaved the beard from the president's 
face that night; therefore I was prepared, when I 

124 Cabbages and Kings 

entered the rooms, to find him with a smooth face. 
When I apprehended him in the name of the people 
he drew a pistol and shot himself instantly. In a 
few minutes many officers and citizens were on the 
spot. I suppose you have been informed of the 
subsequent facts." 

Goodwin paused. Losada's agent maintained an 
attitude of waiting, as if he expected a continuance. 

" And now," went on the American, looking stead- 
ily into the eyes of the other man, and giving each 
word a deliberate emphasis, " you will oblige me by 
attending carefully to what I have to add. I saw 
no valise or receptacle of any kind, or any money be- 
longing to the Republic of Anchuria. If President 
Miraflores decamped with any funds belonging to 
the treasury of this country, or to himself, or to any- 
one else, I saw no trace of it in the house or elsewhere, 
at that time or at any other. Does that statement 
cover the ground of the inquiry you wished to make of 

Colonel Falcon bowed, and described a fluent 
curve with his cigar. His duty was performed. 
Goodwin was not to be disputed. He was a loyal 
supporter of the government, and enjoyed the full 
confidence of the new president. His rectitude had 
been the capital that had brought him fortune in An- 

Money Maze 125 

churia, just as it had formed the lucrative " graft " 
of MelHnger, the secretary of Miraflores. 

" I thank you, Sefior Goodwin," said Falcon, " for 
speaking plainly. Your word will be sufficient for 
the president. But, Senor Goodwin, I am instructed 
to pursue every clue that presents itself in this mat- 
ter. There is one that I have not yet touched upon. 
Our friends in France, sefior, have a saying, 
* Cherchez la femme,* when there is a mystery with- 
out a clue. But here we do not have to search. 
The woman who accompanied the late President in 
his flight must surely — " 

" I must interrupt you there," interposed Good- 
win. " It is true that when I entered the hotel for 
the purpose of intercepting President Miraflores I 
found a lady there. I must beg of you to remember 
that that lady is now my wife. I speak for her as I 
do for myself. She knows nothing of the fate of the 
valise or of the money that you are seeking. You 
will say to his excellency that I guarantee her inno- 
cence. I do not need to add to you. Colonel Falcon, 
that I do not care to have her questioned or dis- 

Colonel Falcon bowed again. 

** Por supuesto, no ! " he cried. And to indicate 
that the inquiry was ended he added : " And now, 

126 Cabbages and Kings 

sefioTj let me beg of you to show me that sea view 
from your galena of which you spoke. I am a 
lover of the sea." 

In the early evening Goodwin walked back to the 
town with his guest, leaving him at the corner of the 
Calle Grande. As he was returning homeward one 
" Beelzebub " Blythe, with the air of a courtier and 
the outward aspect of a scarecrow, pounced upon him 
hopefully from the door of a pulperia. 

Blythe had been re-christened " Beelzebub " as an 
acknowledgment of the greatness of his fall. Once 
in some distant Paradise Lost, he had foregathered 
with the angels of the earth. But Fate had hurled 
him headlong down to the tropics, where flamed in 
his bosom a fire that was seldom quenched. In 
Coralio they called him a beachcomber; but he was, 
in reality, a categorical idealist who strove to an- 
amorphosize the dull verities of life by the means 
of brandy and rum. As Beelzebub, himself, might 
have held in his clutch with imwitting tenacity his 
harp or crown during his tremendous fall, so his 
namesake had clung to his gold-rimmed eyeglasses as 
the only souvenir of his lost estate. These he wore 
with impressiveness and distinction while he combed 
beaches and extracted toll from his friends. By some 
mysterious means he kept his drink-reddened face 

I u 

Money Maze 127 

always smoothly shaven. For the rest he sponged 
gracefully upon whomsoever he could for enough to 
keep him pretty drunk, and sheltered from the rains 
and night dews. 

** Hallo, Groodwin ! " called the derelict, airily. " I 
was hoping I'd strike you. I wanted to see you par- 
ticularly. Suppose we go where we can talk. Of 
course you know there's a chap down here looking up 
the money old Miraflores lost." 

Yes," said Goodwin, " I've been talking with him. 
Let's go into Espada's place. I can spare you ten 

They went into the pulperia and sat at a little table 
upon stools with rawhide tops. 

** Have a drink ? " said Goodwin. 
They can't bring it too quickly," said Blythe. 

I've been in a drought ever since morning. Hi — 
muchachof — el aguardiente por acd,'* 

" Now, what do you want to see me about ? " asked 
Goodwin, when the drinks were before them. 

*' Confound it, old man," drawled Blythe, " why 
do you spoil a golden moment like this with business? 
I wanted to see you — well, this has the preference." 
He gulped down his brandy, and gazed longingly into 
the empty glass. 

" Have another? " suggested Goodwin. 


128 Cabbages and Kings 

" Between gentlemen," said the fallen angel, " I 
donH quite like your use of that word * another.' It 
isn't quite delicate. But the concrete idea that the 
word represents is not displeasing." 

The glasses were refilled. Blythe sipped blissfully 
from his, as he began to enter the state of a true 

" I must trot along in a minute or two," hinted 
Groodwin. "Was there an3rthing in particular?" 

Blythe did not reply at once. 

" Old Losada would make it a hot country," he re- 
marked at length, " for the man who swiped that 
gripsack of treasury boodle, don't you think? " 

" Undoubtedly, he would," agreed Goodwin 
calmly, as he rose leisurely to his feet. " I'll be run- 
ning over to the house now, old man. Mrs. Good- 
win is alone. There was nothing important you had 
to say, was there ? " 

" That's all," said Blythe. " Unless you wouldn't 
mind sending in another drink from the bar as you go 
out. Old Espada has closed my account to profit 
and loss. And pay for the lot, will you, like a good 

" All right," said Goodwin. " Buenas noches.** 

** Beelzebub " Blythe lingered over his cups, pol- 

Money Maze 129 

ishing his eyeglasses with a disreputable handker- 

" I thought I could do it, but I couldn't," he mut- 
tered to himself after a time. " A gentleman can't 
blackmail the man that he drinks with." 


iSPILLED milk draws few tears from an Anchurian 
administration. Many are its lacteal sources; and 
the clocks' hands point forever to milking time. 
Even the rich cream skimmed from the treasury by 
the bewitched Miraflores did not cause the newly-in- 
stalled patriots to waste time in unprofitable regrets. 
The government philosophically set about supplying 
the deficiency by increasing the import duties and by 
" suggesting " to wealthy private citizens that con- 
tributions according to their means would be con- 
sidered patriotic and in order. Prosperity was 
expected to attend the reign of Losada, the new 
president. The ousted office-holders and military 
favourites organized a new " Liberal " party, and 
began to lay their plans for a re-succession. Thus 
the game of Anchurian politics began, like a Chinese 
comedy, to unwind slowly its serial length. Here 
and there Mirth peeps for an instant from the wings 

and illumines the florid lines. 


The Admiral 181 

A dozen quarts of champagne in conjunction with 
an informal sitting of the president and his cabinet 
led to the establishment of the navy and the appoint- 
ment of Felipe Carrera as its admiral. 

Next to the champagne the credit of the appoint- 
ment belongs to Don Sabas Placido, the newly con- 
firmed Minister of War. 

The president had requested a convention of his 
cabinet for the discussion of questions politic and 
for the transaction of certain routine matters of 
state. The session had been signally tedious; the 
business and the wine prodigiously dry. A sudden, 
prankish humour of Don Sabas, impelling him to the 
deed, spiced the grave affairs of state with a whiff of 
agreeable playfulness. 

In the dilatory order of business had come a bulle- 
tin from the coast department of Orilla del Mar 
reporting the seizure by the custom-house officers 
at the town of Coralio of the sloop Estrella del Noche 
and her cargo of drygoods, patent medicines, granu- 
lated sugar and three-star brandy. Also six Martini 
rifles and a barrel of American whisky. Caught in 
the act of smuggling, the sloop with its cargo was 
now, according to law, the property of the republic. 
The Collector of Customs, in making his report, 
departed from the conventional forms so far as to 

182 Cabbages and Kings 

suggest that the confiscated vessel be converted to 
the use of the government. The prize was the first 
capture to the credit of the department in ten years. 
The collector took opportunity to pat his depart- 
ment on the back« 


It often happened that government ofiScers re- 
quired transportation from point to point along the 
coast, and means were usually lacking. Further- 
more, the sloop could be manned by a loyal crew 
and employed as a coast guard to discourage the per- 
nicious art of smuggling. The collector also ven- 
tured to nominate one to whom the charge of the 
boat could be safely intrusted — a young man of 
Coralio, Felipe Carrera — not, be it understood, one 
of extreme wisdom, but loyal and the best sailor 
along the coast. 

It was upon this hint that the Minister of War 
acted, executing a rare piece of drollery that so en- 
livened the tedium of executive session. 

In the constitution of this small, maritime banana 
republic was a forgotten section that provided for 
the maintenance of a navy. This provision — with 
many other wiser ones — had lain inert since the 
establishment of the republic. Anchuria had no 
navy and had no use for one. It was characteristic 
of Don Sabas — a man at once merry, learned. 

The Admiral 183 

whimsical and audacious — that he should have dis- 
turbed the dust of this musty and sleeping statute 
to increase the humour of the world by so much as a 
smile from his indulgent colleagues. 

With delightful mock seriousness the Minister of 
War proposed the creation of a navy. He argued 
its need and the glories it might achieve with such 
gay and witty zeal that the travesty overcame with 
its humour even the swart dignity of President 
Losada himself. 

The champagne was bubbling trickily in the veins 
of the mercurial statesmen. It was not the custom 
of the grave governors of Anchuria to enliven their 
sessions with a beverage so apt to cast a veil of dis- 
paragement over sober affairs. The wine had been 
a thoughtful compliment tendered by the agent of 
the Vesuvius Fruit Company as a token of amicable 
relations — and certain consummated deals — be- 
tween that company and the republic of Anchuria. 

The jest was carried to its end. A formidable, 
official document was prepared, encrusted with chro- 
matic seals and jaunty with fluttering ribbons, bear- 
ing the florid signatures of state. This commission 
conferred upon el Seiior Don Felipe Carrera the title 
of Flag Admiral of the Republic of Anchuria. Thus 
within the space of a few minutes and the dominion 

134 Cabbages and Kings 

of a dozen " extra dry," the country took its place 
among the naval powers of the world, and Felipe 
Carrera became entitled to a salute of nineteen guns 
whenever he might enter port. 

The southern races are lacking in that particular 
kind of humour that finds entertainment in the de- 
fects and misfortunes bestowed by Nature. Owing 
to this defect in their constitution they are not moved 
to laughter (as are their northern brothers) by the 
spectacle of the deformed, the feeble-minded or the 

Felipe Carrera was sent upon earth with but half 
his wits. Therefore, the people of Coralio called him 
" El pobrecito loco " — " the poor little crazed one " 
— saying that God had sent but half of him to earth, 
retaining the other half. 

A sombre youth, glowering, and speaking only at 
the rarest times, Felipe was but negatively " loco." 
On shore he generally refused all conversation. He 
seemed to know that he was badly handicapped on 
land, where so many kinds of understanding are 
needed ; but on the water his one talent set him equal 
with most men. Few sailors whom God had care- 
fully and completely made could handle a sailboat as 
well. Five points nearer the wind than the best of 
them he could sail his sloop. When the elements 

The Admiral 135 

raged and set other men to cowering, the deficiencies 

of FeKpe seemed of little importance. He was a 

perfect sailor, if an imperfect man. He owned no 

boat, but worked among the crews of the schooners 

and sloops that skimmed the coast, trading and 

freighting fruit out to the steamers where there was 

no harbour. It was through his famous skill and 

boldness on the sea, as well as for the pity felt for his 

mental imperfections, that he was recommended by 

the collector as a suitable custodian of the captured 


When the outcome of Don Sabas' little pleasantry 
arrived in the form of the imposing and preposterous 
commission, the collector smiled. He had not ex- 
pected such prompt and overwhelming response to 
his recommendation. He despatched a muchacho at 
once to fetch the future admiral. 

The collector waited in his official quarters. His 
office was in the Calle Grande, and the sea breezes 
hummed through its windows all day. The col- 
lector, in white linen and canvas shoes, philandered 
With papers on an antique desk. A parrot, perched 
on a pen rack, seasoned the official tedium with a fire 
of choice Castilian imprecations. Two rooms opened 
into the collector's. In one the clerical force of 
young men of variegated complexions transacted 

186 Cabbages and Kings 

with glitter and parade their several duties. 
Through the open door of the other room could be 
seen a bronze babe, guiltless of clothing, that rol- 
licked upon the floor. In a grass hammock a thin 
woman, tinted a pale lemon, played a guitar and 
swung contentedly in the breeze. Thus surrounded 
by the routine of his high duties and the visible 
tokens of agreeable domesticity, the collector's heart 
was further made happy by the power placed in his 
hands to brighten the fortunes of the " innocent " 

Felipe came and stood before the collector. He 
was a lad of twenty, not ill-favoured in looks, but 
with an expression of distant and pondering vacuity. 
He wore white cotton trousers, down the seams of 
which he had sewed red stripes with some vague aim 
at military decoration. A flimsy blue shirt fell open 
at his throat ; his feet were bare ; he held in his hand 
the cheapest of straw hats from the States. 

" Seiior Carrera," said the collector, gravely, pro- 
ducing the showy commission, " I have sent for you 
at the president's bidding. This document that I 
present to you confers upon you the title of Admiral 
of this great republic, and gives you absolute com- 
mand of the naval forces and fleet of our country. 
You may think, friend Felipe, that we have no navy 

The Admiral 137 

— but yes ! The sloop the Estrella del Noche, that 
my brave men captured from the coast smugglers, 
is to be placed under your command. The boat is 
to be devoted to the services of your country. You 
will be ready at all times to convey officials of the 
government to points along the coast where they may 
be obliged to visit. You will also act as a coast- 
guard to prevent, as far as you may be able, the 
crime of smuggling. You will uphold the honour 
and prestige of your country at sea, and endeavour 
to place Anchuria among the proudest naval power? 
of the world. These are your instructions as the 
Minister of War desires me to convey them to you. 
For Diosl I do not know how all this is to be ac- 
complished, for not one word did his letter contain 
in respect to a crew or to the expenses of this navy. 
Perhaps you are to provide a crew yourself, Seiior 
Admiral — I do not know — but it is a very high 
honour that has descended upon you. I now hand 
you your commission. When you are ready for the 
boat I will give orders that she shall be made over 
Into your charge. That is as far as my instructions 


Felipe took the commission that the collector 
handed to him. He gazed through the open window 
at the sea for a moment, with his customary expres- 

188 Cabbages and Kings 

slon of deep but vain pondering. Then he turned 
without havipg spoken a word, and walked swiftly 
away through the hot sand of the street. 

** Pobrecito loco! '* sighed the collector ; and the 
parrot on the pen racks screeched " Loco ! — loco ! — 
loco ! " 

The next morning a strange procession filed 
through the streets to the collector's office. At its 
head was the admiral of the navy. Somewhere 
Felipe had raked together a pitiful semblance of a 
military uniform — a pair of red trousers, a dingy 
blue short jacket heavily ornamented with gold braid, 
and an old fatigue cap that must have been cast 
away by one of the British soldiers in Belize and 
brought away by Felipe on one of his coasting voy- 
ages. Buckled around his waist was an ancient 
ship's cutlass contributed to his equipment by Pedro 
Lafitte, the baker, who proudly asserted its inheri- 
tance from his ancestor, the illustrious buccaneer. 
At the admiral's heels tagged his newly-shipped 
crew — three grinning, glossy, black Caribs, bare to 
the waist, the sand spurting in showers from the 
Spring of their naked feet. 

Briefly and with dignity Felipe demanded his 
vessel of the collector. And now a fresh honour 
awaited him. The collector's wife, who played the 

The Admiral 189 

guitar and read novels in the hammock all day, had 

more than a little romance in her placid, yellow 

bosom. She had found in an old book an engraving 

of a flag that purported to be the naval flag of An- 

churia. Perhaps it had so been designed by the 

founders of the nation; but, as no navy had ever 

been established, oblivion had claimed the flag. 

Laboriously with her own hands she had made a flag 

after the pattern — a red cross upon a blue-and- 

white ground. She presented it to Felipe with these 

words : " Brave sailor, this flag is of your country. 

Be true, and defend it with your life. Go you with 


For the first time since his appointment the ad- 
miral showed a flicker of emotion. He took the 
silken emblem, and passed his hand reverently over 
its surface. " I am the admiral," he said to the col- 
lector's lady. Being on land he could bring himself 
to no more exuberant expression of sentiment. At 
sea with the flag at the masthead of his navy, some 
more eloquent exposition of feelings might be forth- 

Abruptly the admiral departed with his crew. 
For the next three days they were busy giving the 
Estrella del Noche a new coat of white paint trimmed 
with blue. And th^n Felipe further adorned him- 

140 Cabbages and Kings 

self by fastening a handful of brilliant parrot's 
plumes in his cap. Again he tramped with his faith- 
ful crew to the collector's office and formally notified 
Kim that the sloop's name had been changed to El 

During the next few months the navy had its 
troubles. Even an admiral is perplexed to know 
what to do without any orders. But none came. 
Neither did any salaries. El Nacional swung idly 
at anchor. 

When Felipe's little store of money was exhausted 
he went to the collector and raised the question of 

" Salaries ! " exclaimed the collector, with hands 
raised; " VcHgame Dios! not one centavo of my own 
pay have I received for the last seven months. The 
pay of an admiral, do you ask? Quien sabef Should 
it be less than three thousand pesos? Mir a! you 
will see a revolution in this country very soon. A 
good sign of it is when the government calls all the 
time for pesos^ pesoSy pesos, and pays none out." 

Felipe left the collector's office with a look almost 
of content on his sombre face. A revolution would 
mean fighting, and then the government would need 
his services. It was rather humiliating to be an ad- 
miral without anything to do, and have a himgry 

The Admiral 141 

crew at your heels begging for reales to buy plan- 
tains and tobacco with. 

When he returned to where his happy-go-lucky 
Caribs were waiting they sprang up and saluted, as 
he had drilled them to do. 

" Come, muchachos,** said the admiral ; " it seems 
that the government is poor. It has no money to 
give us. We will earn what we need to live upon. 
Thus will we serve our country. Soon " — his heavy 
eyes almost lighted up — " it may gladly call upon 
us for help." 

Thereafter El Nacional turned out with the other 
coast craft and became a wage-earner. She worked 
with the lighters freighting bananas and oranges out 
to the fruit steamers that could not approach nearer 
than a mile from the shore. Surely a self-support- 
ing navy deserves red letters in the budget of any 

After earning enough at freighting to keep himself 
and his crew in provisions for a week Felipe would 
anchor the navy and hang about the little telegraph 
office, looking like one of the chorus of an insolvent 
comic opera troupe besieging the manager's den. A 
hope for orders from the capital was always in his 
heart. That his services as admiral had never been 
called into requirement hurt his pride and patriotism. 

142 Cabbages and Kings 

At every call he would inquire, gravely and expect- 
antly, for despatches. The operator would pretend 
to make a search, and then reply : 

" Not yet, it seems, Senor el Almirante — poco 
tiempo! ** 

Outside in the shade of the lime-trees the \3rew 
chewed sugar cane or slumbered, well content to 
serve a country that was contented with so little 

One day in the early summer the revolution pre- 
dicted by the collector flamed out suddenly. It had 
long been smouldering. At the fir&t note of alarm 
the admiral of the navy force and fleet made all sail 
for a larger port on the coast of a neighbouring re- 
public, where he traded a hastily collected cargo of 
fruit for its value in cartridges for the five Martini 
rifles, the only guns that the navy could boast. Then 
to the telegraph office sped the admiral. Sprawling 
in his favourite comer, in his fast-decaying uniform, 
with his prodigious sabre distributed between his red 
legs, he waited for the long-delayed, but now soon 
expected, orders. 

" Not yet, Senor el Almirante,** the telegraph 
clerk would call to him — " poco tiempo! '* 

At the answer the admiral would plump himself 
down with a great rattling of scabbard to await the 

The Admiral 148 

infrequent tick of the little instrument on the 

" They will come," would be his unshaken reply ; 
" I am the admiraL" 


At the head of the insurgent party appeared that 
Hector and learned Theban of the southern repub- 
lics, Don Sabas Placldo. A traveller, a soldier, a 
poet, a scientist, a statesman and a connoisseur — 
the wonder was that he could content himself with 
the petty, remote life of his native country. 

" It is a whim of Placido's,'' said a friend who 
knew him well, " to take up political intrigue. It is 
not otherwise than as if he had come upon a new 
tempo in music, a new bacillus in the air, a new 
scent, or rhyme, or explosive. He will squeeze this 
revolution dry of sensations, and a week afterward 
will forget it, skimming the seas of the world in his 
brigantine to add to his already world-famous col- 
lections. Collections of what? For Dios! of every- 
thing from postage stamps to prehistoric stone 

But, for a mere dilettante, the aesthetic Placido 

seemed to be creating a lively row. The people ad- 


The Flag Paramount 145 

mired him; they were fascinated by his brilliancy 
and flattered by his taking an interest in so small a 
thing as his native country. They rallied to the call 
of his lieutenants in the capital, where (somewhat 
contrary to arrangements) the army remained faith- 
ful to the government. There was also lively skir- 
mishing in the coast towns. It was rumoured that 
the revolution was aided by the Vesuvius Fruit Com- 
pany, the power that forever stood with chiding smile 
and uplifted finger to keep Anchuria in the class of 
good children. Two of its steamers, the Traveler 
and the Salvador^ were known to have conveyed in- 
surgent troops from point to point along the coast. 

As yet there had been no actual uprising in Co- 
ralio. Military law prevailed, and the ferment was 
bottled for the time. And then came the word that 
everywhere the revolutionists were encountering de- 
feat. In the capital the president's forces tri- 
umphed; and there was a rumour that the leaders of 
the revolt had been forced to fly, hotly pursued. 

In the little telegraph office at Coralio there was 
always a gathering of officials and loyal citizens, 
awaiting news from the seat of government. One 
morning the telegraph key began clicking, and pres- 
ently the operator called, loudly : " One telegram 
for el Almirante^ Don Senor Felipe Carrera ! " 

146 Cabbages and Kings 

There was a shuffling sound, a great rattling of tin 
scabbard, and the admiral, prompt at his spot of 
waiting, leaped across the room to receive it. 

The message was handed to him. Slowly spelling 
it out, he found it to be his first official order — thus 

" Proceed immediately with your vessel to mouth 
of Rio Ruiz; transport beef and provisions to bar- 
racks at Alforan. Martinez, General." 

Small glory, to be sure, in this, his country's first 
call. But it had called, and joy surged in the ad- 
miral's breast. He drew his cutlass belt to another 
buckle hole, roused his dozing crew, and in a quarter 
of an hour El Nacionul was tacking swiftly down 
coast in a stiff landward breeze. 

The Rio Ruiz is a small river, emptying into 
the sea ten miles below Coralio. That portion of the 
coast is wild and solitary. Through a gorge in the 
Cordilleras rushes the Rio Ruiz, cold and bubbling, 
to glide, at last, with breadth and leisure, through 
an alluvial morass into the sea. 

In two hours El Nacional entered . the river's 
mouth. The banks were crowded with a disposition 
of formidable trees. The sumptuous undergrowth 

The Flag Paramount 147 

of the tropics overflowed the land, and drowned itself 
in the fallow waters. Silently the sloop entered 
there, and met a deeper silence. Brilliant with 
greens and ochres and floral scarlets, the umbrageous 
mouth of the Rio Ruiz furnished no sound or move- 
ment save of the sea-going water as it purled against 
the prow of the vessel. Small chance there seemed 
of wresting beef or provisions from that empty soli- 

The admiral decided to cast anchor, and, at the 
chain's rattle, the forest was stimulated to instant 
and resounding uproar. The mouth of the Rio 
Ruiz had only been taking a morning nap. Parrots 
and baboons screeched and barked in the trees; a 
whirring and a hissing and a booming marked the 
awakening of animal life ; a dark blue bulk was visible 
for an instant, as a startled tapir fought his way 
through the vines. 

The navy, under orders, hung in the mouth of the 
little river for hours. The crew served the dinner 
of shark's fin soup, plantains, crab gumbo and sour 
wine. The admiral, with a three-foot telescope, 
closely scanned the impervious foliage fifty yards 

It was nearly sunset when a reverberating " hal- 
lo-o-o ! '' came from the forest to their left. It was 

148 Cabbages and Kings 

answered; and three men, mounted upon mules,, 
crashed through the tropic tangle to within a dozen 
yards of the river's bank. There they dismounted; 
and one, unbuckling his belt, struck each mule a vio' 
lent blow with his sword scabbard, so that they, with 
a fling of heels, dashed back again into the forest. 

Those were strange-looking men to be conveying 
beef and provisions. One was a large and exceed- 
ingly active man, of striking presence. He was of 
the purest Spanish type, with curling, gray- 
besprinkled, dark hair, blue, sparkling eyes, and the 
pronounced air of a caballero grande. The other 
two were small, brown-faced men, wearing white mili- 
tary uniforms, high riding boots and swords. The 
clothes of all were drenched, bespattered and rent 
by the thicket. Some stress of circumstance must 
have driven them, diable h quatre^ through flood, 
mire and jungle. 

" O'hS! Senor Almirantej* called the large man. 
" Send to us your boat." 

The dory was lowered, and Felipe, with one of the 
Caribs, rowed toward the left bank. 

The large man stood near the water's brink, waist 
deep in the curling vines. As he gazed upon the 
scarecrow figure in the stern of the dory a sprightly 
interest beamed upon his mobile face. 

The Flag Paramount 149 

Months of wageless and thankless service had 
dimmed the admiral's splendour. His red trousers 
were patched and ragged. Most of the bright but- 
tons and yellow braid were gone from his jacket. 
The visor of his cap was torn, and depended almost 
to his eyes. The admiral's feet were bare. 

" Dear admiral," cried the large man, and his 
voice was like a blast from a horn, " I kiss your 
hands. I knew we could build upon your fidelity. 
You had our despatch — from General Martinez. A 
little nearer with your boat, dear Admiral. Upon 
these devils of shifting vines we stand with the small- 
est security." 

Felipe regarded him with a stolid face. 

" Provisions and beef for the barracks at Alfo- 
ran," he quoted. 

" No fault of the butchers, Almirante mio, that 
the beef awaits you not. But you are come in time 
to save the cattle. Get us aboard your vessel, senor, 
at once. You first, caballeros — a priesa! Come 
back for me. The boat is too small." 

The dory conveyed the two officers to the sloop, 
and returned for the large man. 

" Have you so gross a thing as food, good ad- 
miral? " he cried, when aboard. " And, perhaps, 
cofifee? Beef and provisions! N ombre de Diosf a 

150 Cabbages and Kings 

little longer and we could have eaten one of those 
mules that you, Colonel Rafael, saluted so feelingly 
with your sword scabbard at parting. Let us have 
food ; and then we will sail — for the barracks at 
Alforan — no? *' 

The Caribs prepared a meal, to which the three 
passengers of El Nacional set themselves with fam- 
ished delight. About sunset, as was its custom, the 
breeze veered and swept back from the mountains, 
cool and steady, bringing a taste of the stagnant 
lagoons and mangrove swamps that guttered the low- 
lands. The mainsail of the sloop was hoisted and 
swelled to it, and at that moment they heard shouts 
and a waxing clamour, from the bosky profundities 
of the shore. 

" The butchers, my dear admiral,'' said the large 
man, smiling, " too late for the slaughter." 

Further than his orders to his crew, the admiral 
was saying nothing. The topsail and jib were 
spread, and the sloop glided out of the estuary. 
The large man and his companions had bestowed 
themselves with what comfort they could about the 
bare deck. Belike, the thing big in their minds had 
been their departure from that critical shore; and 
now that the hazard was so far reduced their thoughts 
were loosed tg the considerc^tion of further deliver- 

The Flag Paramount 151 

ance. But when they saw the sloop turn and fly up 
coast again they relaxed, satisfied with the course 
the admiral had taken. 

The large man sat at ease, his spirited blue eye 
engaged in the contemplation of the navy's com- 
mander. He was trying to estimate this sombre and 
fantastic lad, whose impenetrable stolidity puzzled 
him. Himself a fugitive, his life sought, and chafing 
under the smart of defeat and failure, it was char- 
acteristic of him to transfer instantly his interest to 
the study of a thing new to him. It was like him, 
too, to have conceived and risked all upon this last 
desperate and madcap scheme — this message to a 
poor, crazed fanatico cruising about with his gro- 
tesque uniform and his farcical title. But his com- 
panions had been at their wits' end; escape had 
seemed incredible; and now he was pleased with the 
success of the plan they had called crack-brained 
and precarious. 

The brief, tropic twilight seemed to slide swiftly 
into the pearly splendour of a moonlit night. And 
now the lights of Coralio appeared, distributed 
against the darkening shore to their right. The ad- 
miral stood, silent, at the tiller ; the Caribs, like black 
panthers, held the sheets, leaping noiselessly at his 
short commands. The three passengers were watch- 

152 Cabbages and Kings 

ing intently the sea before them, and when at length 
they came in sight of the bulk of a steamer lying a 
mile out from the town, with her lights radiating deep 
into the water, they held a sudden voluble and close- 
headed converse. The sloop was speeding as if to 
strike midway between ship and shore. 

The large man suddenly separated from his com- 
panions and approached the scarecrow at the helm. 

" My dear admiral," he said, " the government has 
been exceedingly remiss. I feel all the shame for it 
that only its ignorance of your devoted service has 
prevented it from sustaining. An inexcusable over- 
sight has been made. A vessel, a uniform and a crew 
worthy of your fidelity shall be furnished you. But 
just now, dear admiral, there is business of moment 
afoot. The steamer lying there is the Salvador, I 
and my friends desire to be conveyed to her, where 
we are sent on the government's business. Do us 
the favour to shape your course accordingly." 

Without replying, the admiral gave a sharp com- 
mand, and put the tiller hard to port. El Nacional 
swerved, and headed straight as an arrow's course 
for the shore. 

" Do me the favour," said the large man, a trifle 
restively, " to acknowledge, at least, that you catch 
the sound of my words." It was possible that the 

The Flag Paramount 158 

fellow might be lacking in senses as well as intel- 

The admiral emitted a croaking, harsh laugh, and 

" They will stand you," he said, " with your face 
to a wall and shoot you dead. That is the way they 
kill tr&itors. I knew you when you stepped into my 
boat. I have seen your picture in a book. You 
are Sabas Placido, traitor to your country. With 
your face to a wall. So, you will die. I am the 
admiral, and I will take you to them. With your 
face to a wall. Yes." 

Don Sabas half turned and waved his hand, with 
a ringing laugh, toward his fellow fugitives. " To 
you, caballeros, I have related the history of that 
session when we issued that O! so ridiculous com- 
mission. Of a truth our jest has been turned against 
us. Behold the Frankenstein's monster we have 
created ! " 

Don Sabas glanced toward the shore. The lights 
of Coralio were drawing near. He could see the 
beach, the warehouse of the Bodega Nacional, the 
long, low cuartel occupied by the soldiers, and, be- 
hind that, gleaming in the moonlight, a stretch of 
high adobe wall. He had seen men stood with their 
faces to that wall and shot dead. 

154 Cabbages and Kings 

Again he addressed the extravagant figure at the 

** It is true,'* he said, " that I am fleeing the coun- 
try. But, receive the assurance that I care very 
little for that. Courts and samps everywhere are 
open to Sabas Placido. Vaya! what is this molehill 
of a republic — this pig's head of a country — to a 
man like me? I am a paisano of everywhere. In 
Rome, in London, in Paris, in Vienna, you will hear 
them say: * Welcome back, Don Sabas.' Come! — 
tonto — baboon of a boy — admiral, whatever you 
call yourself, turn your boat. Put us on board the 
Salvador, and here is your pay — five hundred 
pesos in money of the Estados Unidos — more than 
your lying government will pay you in twenty 

Don Sabas pressed a plump purse against the 
youth's hand. The admiral gave no heed to the 
words or the movement. Braced against the helm, 
he was holding the sloop dead on her shoreward 
course. His dull face was lit almost to intelligence 
by some inward conceit that seemed to afford him 
joy, and found utterance in another parrot-like 

"That is why they do it," he said — ^** so that 
you will not see the guns. They fire — boom ! — 

The Flag Paramount 155 

and you fall dead. With your face to the wall. 

The admiral called a sudden order to his crew. 
The lithe, silent Caribs made fast the sheets they 
held, and slipped down the hatchway into the hold 
of the sloop. When the last one had disappeared, 
Don Sabas, like a big, brown leopard, leaped for- 
ward, closed and fastened the hatch and stood, 

" No rifles, if you please, dear admiral," he said. 
" It was a whimsey of mine once to compile a dic- 
tionary of the Carib lengua. So, I understood your 
order. Perhaps now you will — " 

He cut short his words, for he heard the dull 
" swish " of iron scraping along tin. The admiral 
had drawn the cutlass of Pedro Lafitte, and was 
darting upon him. The blade descended, and it was 
only by a display of surprising agility that the large 
man escaped, with only a bruised shoulder, the 
glancing weapon. He was drawing his pistol as he 
sprang, and the next instant he shot the admiral 

Don Sabas stooped over him, and rose again. 

" In the heart," he said briefly. " Senores, the 
navy is abolished." 

Colonel Rafael sprang to the helm, and the other 

156 Cabbages and Kings 

officer hastened to loose the mainsail sheets. The 
boom swung round; El Nacional veered and began 
to tack industriously for the Salvador. 

" Strike that flag, seiior,*' called Colonel Rafael. 
** Our friends on the steamer will wonder why we are 
sailing under it.** 

" Well said," cried Don Sabas. Advancing to the 
mast he lowered the flag to the deck, where lay its 
too loyal supporter. Thus ended the Minister of 
War's little piece of after-dinner drollery, and by 
the same hand that began it. 

Suddenly Don Sabas gave a great cry of joy, and 
ran down the slanting deck to the side of Colonel 
Rafael. Across his arm he carried the flag of the 
extinguished navy. 

" Mire! mire! senor. Ah, Dios! Already can I 
hear that great bear of an Oestreicher shout, * Du 
ha^t mein herz gebrochen! ' Mire! Of my friend, 
Herr Grunitz, of Vienna, you have heard me relate. 
That man has travelled to Ceylon for an orchid-^— 
to Patagonia for a headdress — to Benares for a 
slipper — to Mozambique for a spearhead to add to 
his famous collections. Thou knowest, also, amigo 
Rafael, that I have been a gatherer of curios. My 
collection of battle flags of the world's navies was 

The Flag Paramount 157 

the most complete in existence until last year. Then 
Herr Grunitz secured two, O! such rare specimens. 
One of a Barbary state, and one of the Makarooroos, 
a tribe on the west coast of Africa. I have not those, 
but they can be procured. But this flag, senor — do 
you know what it is? Name of God! do you know? 
See that red cross upon the blue and white ground! 
You never saw it before? Seguramente no. It is 
the naval flag of your country. Mire! This rotten 
tub we stand upon is its navy — that dead cockatoo 
lying there was its commander — that stroke of cut- 
lass and single pistol shot a sea battle. All a piece 
of absurd foolery, I grant you — but authentic. 
There has never been another flag like this, and there 
never will be another. No. It is unique in the 
whole world. Yes. Think of what that means to 
a collector of flags! Do you know, Coronel mio, 
how many golden crowns Herr Grunitz would give 
for this flag? Ten thousand, likely. Well, a hun- 
dred thousand would not buy it. Beautiful flag! 
Only flag! Little devil of a most heaven-born flag! 
O'he! old grumbler beyond the ocean. Wait till 
Don Sabas comes again to the Konigin Strasse. He 
will let you kneel and touch the folds of it with one 
finger. O-hel old spectacled ransacker of the 
world I '* 

158 Cabbages and Kings 

Forgotten was the impotent revolution, the danger, 
the loss, the gall of defeat. Possessed solely by the 
Inordinate and unparalleled passion of the collector, 
he strode up and down the little deck, clasping to his 
breast with one hand the paragon of a flag. He 
snapped his fingers triumphantly toward the east. 
He shouted the paean to his prize in trumpet tones, 
as though he would make old Grunitz hear in his 
musty den beyond the sea. 

They were waiting, on the ScdvadoVy to welcome 
them. The sloop came close alongside the steamer 
where her sides were sliced almost to the lower deck 
for the loading of fruit. The sailors of the Salvador 
grappled and held her there. 

Captain McLeod leaned over the side. 

" Well, senor, the jig is up, Fm told." 

** The jig is up ? " Don Sabas looked perplexed for 
a moment. " That revolution — ah, yes ! " With 
a shrug of his shoulders he dismissed the matter. 

The captain learned of the escape and the im- 
prisoned crew. 

"Caribs?'' he said; "no harm in them." He 
slipped down into the sloop and kicked loose the 
hasp of the hatch. The black fellows came tum- 
bling up, sweating but grinning. 

The Flag Paramount 159 


Hey ! black boys ! " said the captain, in a dialect 
of his own ; " you sabe, catchy boat and vamos back 
same place quick." 

They saw him point to themselves, the sloop and 
Coralio. " Yas, yas ! " they cried, with broader 
grins and many n^s. 

The four — Don Sabas, the two officers and the 
captain — moved to quit the sloop. Don Sabas 
lagged a little behind, looking at the still form of the 
late admiral, sprawled in his paltry trappings. 

" Pobrecito loco,^^ he said softly. 

He was a brilliant cosmopolite and a cognoscente 
of high rank; but, after all, he was of the same race 
and blood and instinct as this people. Even as the 
simple paisanos of Coralio had said it, so said Don 
Sabas. Without a smile, he looked, and said, " The 
poor little crazed one ! " 

Stooping he raised the limp shoulders, drew the 
priceless and induplicable flag under them and over 
the breast, pinning it there with the diamond star of 
the Order of San Carlos that he took from the collar 
of his own coat. 

He followed after the others, and stood with them 
upon the deck of the Salvador, The sailors that 
steadied El Nacional shoved her off. The jabbering 

160 Cabbages and Kings 

Caribs hauled away at the rigging; the sloop headed 
for the shore. 

And Herr Grunitz's collection of naval flags was 
still the finest in the world. 



One night when there was no breeze, and Coralio 
seemed closer than ever to the gratings of Avemus, 
five men were grouped about the door of the photo- 
graph establishment of Keogh and Clancy. Thus, in 
all the scorched and exotic places of the earth, Cau- 
casians meet when the day's work is done to preserve 
the fulness of their heritage by the aspersion of alien 

Johnny Atwood lay stretched upon the grass in the 
undress uniform of a Carib, and prated feebly of cool 
water to be had in the cucumber-wood pumps of 
Dalesburg. Dr. Gregg, through the prestige of his 
whiskers and as a bribe against the relation of his 
imminent professional tales, was conceded the ham- 
mock that was swung between the door jamb and a 
calabash-tree. Keogh had moved out upon the grass 
a little table that held the instrument for burnishing 

completed photographs. He was the only busy one 


162 Cabbages and Kings 

of the group. Industriously from between the cylin- 
ders of the burnisher rolled the finished depictments 
of Coralio's citizens. Blanchard, the French mining 
engineer, in his cool linen viewed the smoke of his cig- 
arette through his calm glasses, impervious to the 
heat. Clancy sat on the steps, smoking his short 
pipe. His mood was the gossip's ; the others were re- 
duced, by the humidity, to the state of disability de- 
sirable in an audience. 

Clancy was an American with an Irish diathesis 
and cosmopolitan proclivities. Many businesses had 
claimed him, but not for long. The roadster's blood 
was in his veins. The voice of the tintype was but 
one of the many callings that had wooed him upon so 
many roads. Sometimes he could be persuaded to 
oral construction of his voyages into the informal and 
egregious. To-night there were symptoms of divulge- 
ment in him. 

** 'Tis elegant weather for filibusterin'," he vol- 
unteered. " It reminds me of the time I . struggled 
to liberate a nation from the poisonous breath of a 
tyrant's clutch. 'Twas hard work. 'Tis strainin' to 
the back and makes corns on the hands." 

" I didn't know you had ever lent your sword to an 
oppressed people," murmured Atwood, from the 

The Shamrock and the Palm 163 

" I did," said Clancy ; " and they turned it into a 

" What country was so fortunate as to secure your 
aid? " airily inquired Blanchard. 

"Where's Kamchatka?" asked Clancy, with 
seeming irrelevance. 

"Why, off Siberia somewhere in the Arctic re- 
gions," somebody answered, doubtfully. 

" I thought that was the cold one," said Clancy, 
with a satisfied nod. " I'm always gettin' the two 
names mixed. 'Twas Guatemala, then — the hot 
one — I've been filibusterin' with. Ye'll find that 
country on the map. 'Tis in the district known as 
the tropics. By the foresight of Providence, it lies 
on the coast so the geography man could run the 
names of the towns off into the water. They're an 
inch long, small type, composed of Spanish dialects, 
and, 'tis my opinion, of the same system of syntax 
that blew up the Maine, Yes, 'twas that country I 
sailed against, single-handed, and endeavoured to 
liberate it from a tyrannical government with a single- 
barreled pickaxe, unloaded at that. Ye don't under- 
stand, of course. 'Tis a statement demandin' 
elucidation and apologies. 

" 'Twas in New Orleans one morning about the 
first of June; I was standin' down on the wharf. 

164 Cabbages and Kings 

lookin* about at the ships in the river. There was a 
little steamer moored right opposite me that seemed 
about ready to sail. The funnels of it were throwin' 
out smoke, and a gang of roustabouts were carryin' 
aboard a pile of boxes that was stacked up on the 
wharf. The boxes were about two feet square, and 
somethin' like four feet long, and they seemed to be 
pretty heavy. 

" I walked over, careless, to the stack of boxes. I 
saw one of them had been broken in handlin'. 'Twas 
curiosity made me pull up the loose top and look in- 
side. The box was packed full of Winchester rifles. 
* So, so,' says I to myself ; * somebody's gettin' a 
twist on the neutrality laws. Somebody's aidin' with 
munitions of war. I wonder where the popguns are 
goin' ? ' 

" I heard somebody cough, and I turned around. 
There stood a little, round, fat man with a brown face 
and white clothes, a first-class-looking little man, 
with a four-karat diamond on his finger and his eye 
full of interrogations and respects. I judged he was 
a kind of foreigner — may be from Russia or Japan 
or the archipelagoes. 

*' * Hist ! ' says the round man, full of concealments 
and confidences. * Will the sefior respect the discov- 
eryments he has made, that the mans on the ship 

The Shamrock and the Palm 165 

shall not be acquaint? The senor will be a gentle- 
man that shall not expose one thing that by accident 

** * Monseer,' says I — for I judged him to be a 
kind of Frenchman — * receive my most exasperated 
assurances that your secret is safe with James 
Clancy. Furthermore, I will go so far as to remark, 
Veev la Liberty — veev it good and strong. When- 
ever you hear of a Clancy obstructin' the abolishment 
of existin' governments you may notify me by return 

** * The seiior is good,' says the dark, fat man, 
smilin' under his black mustache. * Wish you to 
come aboard my ship and drink of wine a glass.' 

" Bein' a Clancy, in two minutes me and the for- 
eigner man were seated at a table in the cabin of the 
steamer, with a bottle between us. I could hear the 
heavy boxes bein' dumped into the hold. I judged 
that cargo must consist of at least 2,000 Winchesters. 
Me and the brown man drank the bottle of stuff, and 
he called the steward to bring another. When you 
amalgamate a Clancy with the contents of a bottle 
you practically instigate secession. I had heard a 
good deal about these revolutions in them tropical 
localities, and I begun to want a hand in it. 

** * You goin' to stir things up in your country, 

1(>6 Cabbages and Kings 

ain't you, monseer? ' says I, with a wink to let him 
know I was on. 

" * Yes, yes,' said the little man, pounding his fist on 
the table. * A change of the greatest will occur. Too 
long have the people been oppressed with the promises 
and the never-to-happen things to become. ' The 
great work it shall be carry on. Yes. Our forces 
shall in the capital city strike of the soonest. Car- 
rambos! * 

" * Carrambos is the word,' says I, beginning to in- 
vest myself with enthusiasm and more wine, ' likewise 
veeva, as I said before. May the shamrock of old — 
I mean the banana-vine or the pie-plant, or whatever 
the imperial emblem may be of your down-trodden 
country, wave forever.' 

" ' A thousand thank-yous,' says the round man, 
* for your emission of amicable utterances. What 
our cause needs of the very most is mans who will the 
work do, to lift it along. Oh, for one thousands 
strong, good mans to aid the General De Vega that 
he shall to his country bring those success and glory ! 
It is hard — oh, so hard to find good mans to help 
in the work.' 

" ' Monseer,' says I, leanin' over the table and 
graspin' his hand, * I don't know where your country 
' , but me heart bleeds for it. The heart of a Clancy 

The Shamrock and the Palm 167 

was never deaf to the sight of an oppressed people. 
The family is filibusterers by birth, and foreigners by 
trade. If you can use James Clancy's arms and his 
blood in denudin' your shores of the tyrant's yoke 
they're yours to command.' 

" General De Vega was overcome with joy to con- 
fiscate my condolence of his conspiracies and predic- 
aments. He tried to embrace me across the table, 
but his fatness, and the wine that had been in the bot- 
tles, prevented. Thus was I welcomed into the ranks 
of filibustery. Then the general man told me his 
country had the name of Guatemala, and was the 
greatest nation laved by any ocean whatever any- 
where. He looked at me with tears in his C3^es, and 
from time to time he would emit the remark, * Ah ! 
big, strong, brave mans! That is what my country 

" General De Vega, as was the name by which he 
denounced himself, brought out a document for me to 
sign, which I did, makin' a fine flourish and curlycue 
with the tail of the * y.' 

** * Your passage-money,' says the general, busi- 
nesslike, * shall from your pay be deduct.' 

" * 'Twill not,' says I, haughty. * I'll pay my own 
passage.' A hundred and eighty dollars I had in my 
inside pocket, and 'twas no common filibuster I was 

168 Cabbages and Kings 

goin' to be, filibustering for me board and clothes. 

" The steamer was to sail in two hours, and I 
went ashore to get some things together Pd need. 
When I came aboard I showed the general with pride 
the outfit. 'Twas a fine Chinchilla overcoat, Arctic 
overshoes, fur cap and earmufFs, with elegant fleece- 
lined gloves and woolen muffler. 

" * Carrambos! ' says the little general. ' What 
clothes are these that shall go to the tropic? ' And 
then the little spalpeen laughs, and he calls the cap- 
tain, and the captain calls the purser, and they pipe 
up the chief engineer, and the whole gang leans 
against the cabin and laughs at Clancy's wardrobe 
for Guatemala. 

^^ I reflects a bit, serious, and asks the general 
again to denominate the terms by which his country 
is called. He tells me, and I see then that 'twas the 
t'other one, Kamchatka, I had in mind. Since then 
I've had difficulty in separatin' the two nations in 
name, climate and geographic disposition. 

" I paid my passage — twenty-four dollars, first 
cabin — and ate at table with the officer crowd. 
Down on the lower deck was a gang of second-class 
passengers, about forty of them, seemin' to be Da- 
goes and the like. I wondered what so many of 
them were goin' along for. 

The Shamrock and the Palm 169 

" Well, then, in three days we sailed alongside 
that Guatemala. 'Twas a blue country, and not yel- 
low as 'tis miscolored on the map. We landed at a 
town on the coast, where a train of cars was waitin' 
for us on a dinky little railroad. The boxes on the 
steamer were brought ashore and loaded on the cars. 
The gang of Dagoes got aboard, too, the general and 
me in the front car. Yes, me and General De Vega 
headed the revolution, as it pulled out of tlie seaport 
town. That train travelled about as fast as a police- 
man goin' to a riot. It penetrated the most con- 
spicuous lot of fuzzy scenery ever seen outside a 
geography. We run some forty miles in seven 
hours, and the train stopped. There was no more 
railroad. 'Twas a sort of camp in a damp gorge 
full of wildness and melancholies. They was gradin' 
and choppin' out the forests ahead to continue the 
road. * Here,' says I to myself, ' is the romantic 
haunt of the revolutionists. Here will Clancy, by 
the virtue that is in a superior race and the inculca- 
tion of Fenian tactics, strike a tremendous blow for 

" They unloaded the boxes from the train and be- 
gun to knock the tops oflF. From the first one that 
was open I saw General De Vega take the Winchester 
rifles and pass them around to a squad of morbid 

170 Cabbages and Kings 

soldiery. The other boxes was opened next, and, 
believe me or not, divil another gun was to be seen. 
Every other box in the load was full of pickaxes and 

" And then — sorrow be upon them tropics — 
the proud Clancy and the dishonoured Dagoes, each 
one of them, had to shoulder a pick or a spade, and 
march away to work on that dirty little railroad. 
Yes; 'twas that the Dagoes shipped for, and 'twas 
that the filibustering Clancy signed for, though un- 
beknownst to himself at the time. In after days I 
found out about it. It seems 'twas hard to get 
hands to work on that road. The intelligent natives 
of the country was too lazy to work. Indeed, the 
saints know, 'twas unnecessary. By stretchin' out 
one hand, they could seize the most delicate and 
costly fruits of the earth, and, by stretchin' out the 
other, they could sleep for days at a time without 
hearin' a seven-o'clock whistle or the footsteps of the 
rent man upon the stairs. So, regular, the steam- 
ers travelled to the United States to seduce labour. 
Usually the imported spade-slingers died in two or 
three months from eatin' the over-ripe water and 
breathin' the violent tropical scenery. Wherefore 
they made them sign contracts for a year, when they 

The Shamrock and the Palm 171 

hired them, and put an armed guard over the poor 
divils to keep them from runnin' away. 

"'Twas thus I was double-crossed by the tropics 
through a family failin' of goin' out of the way to 
hunt disturbances. 

" They gave me a pick, and I took it, meditatin' 
an insurrection on the spot ; but there was the guards 
handlin' the Winchesters careless, and I come to the 
conclusion that discretion was the best part of fili* 
busterin'. There was about a hundred of us in the 
gang startin' out to work, and the word was given to 
move. I steps out of the ranks and goes up to that 
General De Vega man, who was smokin' a cigar and 
gazin* upon the scene with satisfactions and glory. 
He smiles at me polite and devilish. ' Plenty work,' 
says he, ' for big, strong mans in Guatemala. Yes. 
T'lrty dollars in the month. Gopd pay. Ah, yes. 
You strong, brave man. Bimeby we push those rail- 
road in the capital very quick. They want you go 
work now. AdioSy strong mans.' 

" * Monseer,' says I, lingerin', ' will you tell a poor 
little Irishman this: When I set foot on your cock- 
roachy steamer, and breathed liberal and revolution- 
ary sentiments into your sour wine, did you think I 
was conspirin* to sling a pick on your contemptuous 

172 Cabbages and Kings 

little railroad? And when you answered me with 
patriotic recitations, humping up the star-spangled 
cause of liberty, did you have meditations of reducin' 
me to the ranks of the stump-grubbin' Dagoes in the 
chain-gangs of your vile and grovelin* country?' 

" The general man expanded his rotundity and 
laughed considerable. Yes, he laughed very long 
and loud, and I, Clancy, stood and waited. 

" ' Comical mans ! ' he shouts, at last. * So you 
will kill me from the laughing. Yes; it is hard to 
find the brave, strong mans to aid my country. 
Revolutions? Did I speak of r-r-revolutions ? Not 
one word. I say, big, strong mans is need in Guate- 
mala. So. The mistake is of you. You have 
looked in those one box containing those gun for the 
guard. You think all boxes is contain gun? No. 

" * There is not war in Guatemala. But work ? 
Yes. Good. T'irty dollar in the month. You shall 
shoulder one pickaxe, seiior, and dig for the liberty 
and prosperity of Guatemala. Off to your work. 
The guard waits for you.' 

" * Little, fat, poodle dog of a brown man,' says I, 
quiet, but full of indignations and discomforts, 
* things shall happen to you. Maybe not right 
away, but as soon as J. Clancy can formulate some- 
thin' in the way of repartee.* 

The Shamrock and the Palm 173 

" The boss of the gang orders us to work. I 
tramps off with the Dagoes, and I hears the distin- 
guished patriot and kidnapper laughin' hearty as 


we go. 

** 'Tis a sorrowful fact, for eight weeks I built rail- 
roads for that misbehavin' country. I filibustered 
twelve hours a day with a heavy pick and a spade, 
choppin' away the luxurious landscape that grew 
upon the right of way. We worked in swamps that 
smelled like there was a leak in the gas mains, tramp- 
in' down a fine assortment of the most expensive hot- 
house plants and vegetables. The scene was tropical 
beyond the wildest imagination of the geography 
man. The trees was all sky-scrapers; the under- 
brush was full of needles and pins; there was mon- 
keys jumpin' around and crocodiles and pink-tailed 
mockin'-birds, and ye stood knee-deep in the rotten 
water and grabbled roots for the liberation of Guate- 
mala. Of nights we would build smudges in camp 
to discourage the mosquitoes, and sit in the smoke, 
with the guards pacin' all around us. There was 
two hundred men workin' on the road — mostly 
Dagoes, nigger-men, Spanish-men and Swedes. 
Three or four were Irish. 

" One old man named Halloran — a man of Hiber- 
nian entitlements and discretions, explained it to me. 

174 Cabbages and Kingt 

He had been workin' on the road a year. Most of 
them died in less than six months. He was dried 
up to gristle and bone, and shook with chills every 
third night. 

• « « When you first come,' says he, * ye think ye'll 
leave right away. But they hold out your first 
month's pay for your passage over, and by that time 
the tropics has its grip on ye. Ye're surrounded 
by a ragin' forest full of disreputable beasts — lions 
and baboons and anacondas — waitin' to devour ye. 
The sun strikes ye hard, and melts the marrow in 
your bones. Ye get similar to the lettuce-eaters the 
poetry-book speaks about. Ye forget the elevated 
sintiments of life, such as patriotism, revenge, dis- 
turbances of the peace and the dacint love of a clane 
shirt. Ye do your work, and ye swallow the kero- 
sene ile and rubber pipestems dished up to ye by the 
Dago cook for food. Ye light your pipeful, and say 
to yoursilf, " Nixt week I'll break away," and ye go 
to sleep and call yersilf a liar, for ye know ye'U never 
do it.' 

" * Who is this general man,' asks I, * that calls 
himself De Vega? ' 

" * 'Tis the man,' says Halloran, * who is tryin' to 
complete the finishin' of the railroad. 'Twas the 
project of a private corporation, but it busted, and 

The Shamrock and the Palm 175 

then the government took it up. De Vegy is a big 
politician, and wants to be prisident. The people 
want the railroad completed, as they're taxed mighty 
on account of it. The De Vegy man is pushin* it 
along as a campaign move.' 

" * 'Tis not my way,' says I, * to make threats 
against any man, but there's an account to be settled 
between the railroad man and James O'Dowd 

" * 'Twas that way I thought, mesilf, at first,' Hal- 
loran says, with a big sigh, * until I got to be a 
Ipttuce-eater. The fault's wid these tropics. They 
rejuices a man's system. 'Tis a land, as the poet 
says, " Where it always seems to be after dinner." 
I does me work and smokes me pipe and sleeps. 
There's little else in life, anyway. Ye'll get that 
way yersilf, mighty soon. Don't be harbourin' any 
sintiments at all, Clancy.' 

" * I can't help it,' says I ; ' I'm full of 'em. I en- 
listed in the revolutionary army of this dark country 
in good faith to fight for its liberty, honours and 
silver candlesticks ; instead of which I am set to am- 
putatin' its scenery and grubbin' its roots. 'Tis the 
general man will have to pay for it.' 

" Two months I worked on that railroad before I 
found a chance to get away. One day a gang of us 

176 Cabbages and Kings 

was sent back to the end of the completed line to fetch 
some picks that had been sent down to Port Barrios 
to be sharpened. They were brought on a hand-car, 
and I noticed, when I started away, that the car was 
left there on the track. 

" That night, about twelve, I woke up Halloran 
and told him my scheme. 

"'Run away?' says Halloran. * Good Lord, 
Clancy, do ye mean it? Why, I ain't got the nerve. 
It's too chilly, and I ain't slept enough. Run away? 
I told you, Clancy, I've eat the lettuce. I've lost my 
grip. 'Tis the tropics that's done it. 'Tis like the 
poet says : " Forgotten are our friends that we have 
left behind; in the hollow lettuce-land we will live 
and lay reclined." You better go on, Clancy. I'll 
stay, I guess. It's too early and cold, and I'm sleepy.' 

" So I had to leave Halloran. I dressed quiet, and 
slipped out of the tent we were in. When the guard 
came along I knocked him over, like a ninepin, with 
a green cocoanut I had, and made for the railroad. I 
got on that hand-car and made it fly. 'Twas yet a 
while before daybreak when I saw the lights of Port 
Barrios about a mile away. I stopped the hand-car 
there and walked to the town. I stepped inside the 
corporations of that town with care and hesitations. 
I was not afraid of the armv of Guatemala, but me soul 

The Shamrock and the Palm 177 

quaked at the prospect of a hand-to-hand struggle 
with its employment bureau. 'Tis a country that 
hires its help easy and keeps 'em long. Sure I can 
fancy Missis America and Missis Guatemala passin' 
a bit of gossip some fine, still night across the moun- 
tains. * Oh, dear,' says Missis America, * and it's a 
lot of trouble I'm havin' ag'in with the help, senora, 
ma'am.' * Laws, now ! ' says Missis Guatemala, ' you 
don't say so, ma'am ! Now, mine never think of Icav- 
in' me — te-he ! ma'am,' snickers Missis Guatemala. 

" I was wonderin' how I was goin' to move away 
from them tropics without bein' hired again. Dark 
as it was, I could see a steamer ridin' in the harbour, 
with smoke emergin' from her stacks. I turned down 
a little grass street that run down to the water. On 
the beach I found a little brown nigger-man j ust about 
to shove off in a skiff. 

" ' Hold on. Sambo,' says I, * savve English? ' 

" ' Heap plenty, yes,' says he, with a pleasant grin. 

" * What steamer is that? ' I asks him, ' and where 
is it going? And what's the news, and the good word 
and the time of day?' 

" ' That steamer the Conchita,^ said the brown 
man, affable and easy, rollin' a cigarette. ' Him 
come from New Orleans for load banana. Him got 
load last night. I think him sail in one, two hour. 

178 Cabbages and Kings 

Verree nice day we shall be goin' have. You hear 
some talkee 'bout big battle, maybe so.^ You think 
catchee General De Vega, seiior? Yes? No?' 

"'How's that. Sambo?' says I. 'Big battle? 
What battle? Who wants catchee General De Vega? 
I've been up at my old gold mines in the interior for a 
couple of months, and haven't heard any news.' 

" * Oh,' says the nigger-man, proud to speak the 
English, * verree great revolution in Guatemala one 
week ago. General De Vega, him try be president. 
Him raise armee — one — five — ten thousand mans 
for fight at the government! Those one govern- 
ment send five — forty — hundred thousand soldier 
to suppress revolution. They fight big battle yester- 
day at Lomagrande — that about nineteen or fifty 
mile in the mountain. That government soldier 
wheep General De Vega — oh, most bad. Five hun- 
dred — nine hundred — two thousand of his mans is 
kill. That revolution is smash suppress — bust — 
very quick. General De Vega, him r-r-run away 
fast on one big mule. Yes, carrambos! The gen- 
eral, him r-r-run away, and his armee is kill. That 


government soldier, they try find General De Vega 
verree much. They want catchee him for shoot. You 
think they catchee that general, senor? ' 

Saints grant it ! ' says I. * 'Twould be the 

6i 6 

The Shamrock and the Palm 179 

judgment of Providence for settin' the warlike talent 
of a Clancy to gradin' the tropics with a pick and 
shovel. But 'tis not so much a question of insurrec- 
tions now, me little man, as 'tis of the hired-man prob- 
lem. 'Tis anxious I am to resign a situation of re- 
sponsibility and trust with the white wings depart- 
ment of your great and degraded country. Row me 
in your little boat out to that steamer, and I'll give ye 
five dollars — sinker pacers — sinker pacers,' says I, 
reducin' the offer to the language and denomination of 
the tropic dialects. 

" * Cinco pesos,^ repeats the little man. ' Five dol- 
lee, you give? ' 

" 'Twas not such a bad little man. He had hesi- 
tations at first, sayin' that passengers leavin' the 
country had to have papers and passports, but at last 
he took me out alongside the steamer. 

*' Day was just breakin' as we struck her, and there 
wasn't a soul to be seen on board. The water was 
very still, and the nigger-man gave me a lift from the 
boat, and I climbed onto the steamer where her side 
was sliced to the deck for loadin' fruit. The hatches 
was open, and I looked down and saw the cargo of 
bananas that filled the hold to within six feet of the top. 
I thinks to myself, ' Clancy, you better go as a stow- 
9.way. It's safer. The steamer men might hand you 

180 Cabbages and Kings 

back to the employment bureau. The tropic'll get 
you, Clancy, if you don't watch out.' 

" So I jumps down easy among the bananas, and 
digs out a hole to hide in among the bunches. In an 
hour or so I could hear the engines goin% and feel the 
steamer rockin', and I knew we were off to sea. They 
left the hatches open for ventilation, and pretty soon 
it was light enough in the hold to see fairly well. I 
got to feelin' a bit hungry, and thought I'd have a 
light fruit lunch, by way of refreshment. I creeped 
out of the hole I'd made and stood up straight. Just 
then I saw another man crawl up about ten feet away 
and reach out and skin a banana and stuff it into his 
mouth. 'Twas a dirty man, black-faced and ragged 
and disgraceful of aspect. Yes, the man was a ringer 
for the pictures of the fat Weary Willie in the funny 
papers. I looked again, and saw it was my general 
man — I^e Vega, the great revolutionist, mule-rider 
and pick-axe importer. When he saw me the general 
hesitated with his mouth filled with banana and his 
eyes the size of cocoanuts. 

" * Hist ! ' I says. * Not a word, or they'll put us 
off and make us walk. " Veev la Liberty ! " ' I adds, 
copperin' the sentiment by shovin' a banana into the 
source of it. I was certain the general wouldn't rec- 
ognize me. The nefarious work of the tropics had 

The Shamrock and the Palm 181 

left me lookin' different. There was half an inch of 
roan whiskers coverin' me face, and me costume was 
a pair of blue overalls and a red shirt. 

" * How you come in the ship, senor? ' asked the 
general as soon as he could speak. 

" * By the back door — whist ! ' says I. * 'Twas a 
glorious blow for liberty we struck,' I continues : ' but 
we was overpowered by numbers. Let us accept our 
defeat like brave men and eat another banana.' 

" * Were you in the cause of liberty fightin', senor .^ ' 
says the general, sheddin' tears on the cargo. 

" ' To the last,' says I. ' 'Twas I led the last des- 
perate charge against the minions of the tyrant. But 
it made them mad, and we was forced to retreat. 
'Twas I, general, procured the mule upon which you 
escaped. Could you give that ripe bunch a little 
boost this way, general? It's a bit out of my reach. 

" * Say you so, brave patriot ? ' said the general, 
again weepin'. ' Ah, Dios! And I have not the 
means to reward your devotion. Barely did I my life 
bring away. Carramhos! what a devil's animal was 
that mule, senor! Like ships in one storm was I 
dashed about. The skin on myself was ripped away 
with the thorns and vines. Upon the bark of a hun- 
dred trees did that beast of the infernal bump, and 

182 Cabbages and Kings 

cause outrage to the legs of mine. In the night to 
Port Barrios I came. I dispossess myself of that 
mountain of mule and hasten along the water shore. 
I find a little boat to be tied. I launch myself and 
row to the steamer. I cannot see any mans on board, 
so I climbed one rope which hang at the side. I then 
myself hide in the bananas. Surely, I say, if the ship 
captains view me, they shall throw me again to those 
Guatemala. Those things are not good. Guate- 
mala will shoot General De Vega. Therefore, I am 
hide and remain silent. Life itself is glorious. Lib- 
erty, it is pretty good; but so good as life I do not 

" Three days, as I said, was the trip to New 
Orleans. The general man and me got to be cronies 
of the deepest dye. Bananas we ate until they were 
distasteful to the sight and an eyesore to the palate, 
but to bananas alone was the bill of fare reduced. At 
night I crawls out, careful, on the lower deck, and gets 
a bucket of fresh water. 

" That General De Vega was a man inhabited by 
an engorgement of words and sentences. He added 
to the monotony of the voyage by divestin' himself of 
conversation. He believed I was a revolutionist of 
his own party, there bein', as he told me, a good many 
Americans and other foreigners in its ranks. 'Twas 

The Shamrock and the Palm 188 

a braggart and a conceited little gabbler it was, 
though he considered himself a hero. 'Twas on him- 
self he wasted all his regrets at the failin' of his plot. 
Not a word did the little balloon have to say about the 
other misbehavin' idiots that had been shot, or run 
themselves to death in his revolution. 

" The second day out he was feclin' pretty braggy 
and uppish for a stowed-away conspirator that owed 
his existence to a mule and stolen bananas. He was 
tellin' me about the great railroad he had been build- 
in', and he relates what he calls a comic incident 
about a fool Irishman he inveigled from New Orleans 
to sling a pick on his little morgue of a narrow-gauge 
line. 'Twas sorrowful to hear the little, dirty general 
tell the opprobrious story of how he put salt upon the 
tail of that reckless and silly bird, Clancy. Laugh, 
he did, hearty and long. He shook with laughin', the 
black-faced rebel and outcast, standin' neck-deep in 
bananas, without friends or country. 

" * Ah, senor,' he snickers, * to the death you would 
have laughed at that drollest Irish. I say to him: 
" Strong, big mans is need very much in Guatemala." 
" I will blows strike for your down-pressed country," 
he say. " That shall you do," I tell him. Ah ! it was 
iin Irish so comic. He sees one box break upon the 
wharf that contain for the guard a few gun. He 

184 Cabbages and Kings 

think there is gun in all the box. But that is all pick- 
axe. Yes. Ah! senor, could you the face of that 
Irish have seen when they set him to the work ! ' 

" 'Twas thus the ex-boss of the employment bureau 
contributed to the tedium of the trip with merry jests 
and anecdote. But now and then he would weep 
upon the bananas and make oration about the lost 
cause of liberty and the mule. 

" 'Twas a pleasant sound when the steamer bumped 
against the pier in New Orleans. Pretty soon we 
heard the pat-a-pat of hundreds of bare feet, and the 
Dago gang that unloads the fruit jumped on the deck 
and down into the hold. Me and the general worked 
a while at passin' up the bunches, and they thought 
we were part of the gang. After about an hour we 
managed to slip off the steamer onto the wharf. 

" 'Twas a great honour on the hands of an obscure 
Clancy, havin' the entertainment of the representa- 
tive of a great foreign filibusterin' power. I first 
bought for the general and myself many long drinks 
and things to eat that were not bananas. The gen- 
eral man trotted along at my side, leavin* all the ar- 
rangements to me. I led him up to Lafayette Square 
and set him on a bench in the little park. Cigarettes 
I had bought for him, and he humped himself down 
on the seat like a little, fat, contented hobo. I look 

The Shamrock and the Palm 185 

Lira over as he sets there, and what I see pleases me. 
Brown by nature and Instinct, he is now brindled 
with dirt and dust. Praise to the mule, his clothes 
's mostly strings and flaps. Yes, the looks of the 
general man is agreeable to Clancy. 

" I asks him, delicate, if, by any chance, he brought 
away anybody's money with him from Guatemala. 
He sighs and humps his shoulders against the bench. 
Not a cent. All right. Maybe, he tells me, some of 
his friends in the tropic outfit will send him funds 
later. The general was as clear a case of no visible 
means as I ever saw. 

" I told him not to move from the bench, and then I 
went up to the comer of Poydras and Carondelet. 
Along there is O'Hara's beat. In five minutes along 
comes O'Hara, a big, fine man, red-faced, with shinin' 
buttons, swingin' his club. 'Twould be a fine thing 
for Guatemala to move into O'Hara's precinct. 
'Twould be a fine bit of recreation for Danny to sup- 
press revolutions and uprisings once or twice a week 
with his club. 

** * Is 5046 workin' yet, Danny ? ' says I, walkin' 
up to him. 

** * Overtime,' says O^Hara, lookin' over me sus- 
picious. * Want some of it ? ' 

Fifty-forty-six Is the celebrated city ordinance 


186 Cabbages and Kings 

authorizin' arrest, conviction and imprisonment of 
persons that succeed in concealin' their crime? from 
the police. 

" * Don't ye know Jimmy Clancy? ' says I. * Ye 
pink-gilled monster.' So, when O'Hara recognized 
me beneath the scandalous exterior bestowed upon 
me by the tropics, I backed him into a doorway and 
told him what I wanted, and why I wanted it. * All 
right, Jimmy,' says O'Hara. * Go back and hold the 
bench. I'll be along in ten minutes.' 

" In that time O'Hara strolled through Lafayette 
Square and spied two Weary Willies disgracin' one of 
the benches. In ten minutes more J. Clancy and 
General De Vega, late candidate for the presidency of 
Guatemala, was in the station house. The general 
is badly frightened, and calls upon me to proclaim his 
distinguishments and rank. 

" * The man,' says I to the police, * used to be a rail- 
road man. He's on the bum now. 'Tis a little bug- 
house he is, on account of losin' his job.' 

" * Carrambost ' says the general, fizzin' like a lit- 
tle soda-water fountain, * you fought, seiior, with my 
forces in my native country. Why do you say the 
lies? You shall say I am the General De Vega, one 
soldier, one caballero — ' 

" * Railroader,' says I again. * On the hog. No 

The Shamrock and the Palm 187 

good. Been llvin' for three days on stolen bananas. 
Look at him. Ain't that enough? ' 

" Twenty-five dollars or sixty days, was what the 
recorder gave the general. He didn't have a cent, so 
he took the time. They let me go, as I knew they 
would, for I had money to show, and O'Hara spoke 
for me. Yes ; sixty days he got. 'Twas just so long 
that I slung a pick for the great country of Kam — 

Clancy paused. The bright starlight showed a 
reminiscent look of happy content on his seasoned 
features, l^eogh leaned in his chair and gave his 
partner a slap on his thinly-clad back that sounded 
like the crack of the surf on the sands. 

" Tell 'em, ye divil," he chuckled, " how you got 
even with the tropical general in the way of agricul- 
tural manoeuvrings." 

" Havin' no money," concluded Clancy, with unc- 
tion, " they set him to work his fine out with a gang 
from the parish prison clearing Ursulines Street. 
Around the comer was a saloon decorated genially 
with electric fans and cool merchandise. I made 
that me headquarters, and every fifteen minutes I'd 
walk around and take a look at the little man filibus- 
tering with a rake and shovel. 'Twas just such a hot 
broth of a day as this has been. And I'd call at him 

188 Cabbages and Kings 

* Hey, monseer ! ' and he'd look at me black, with the 
damp showin' through his shirt in places. 

" * Fat, strong mans,' says I to General De Vega, 

* is needed in New Orleans. Yes. To carry on the 
good work. Carrambos ! Erin go bragh ! ' " 


Breakfast in Coralio was at eleven. There- 
fore the people did not go to market early. The 
little wooden market-house stood on a patch of short- 
trimmed grass, under the vivid green foliage of a 
bread-fruit tree. 

Thither one morning the venders leisurely con- 
vened, bringing their wares with them. A porch or 
platform six feet wide encircled the building, shaded 
from the mid-morning sun by the projecting, grass- 
thatched roof. Upon this platform the venders were 
wont to display their goods — newly-killed beef, fish, 
crabs, fruit of the country, cassava, eggs, dulces and 
high, tottering stacks of native tortillas as large 
around as the sombrero of a Spanish grandee. 

But on this morning they whose stations lay on the 
seaward side of the market-house, instead of spread- 
ing their merchandise formed themselves into a softly 
jabbering and gesticulating group. For there upon 

their space of the platform was sprawled, asleep, the 


190 Cabbages and Kings 

unbeautlful figure of " Beelzebub " BIythe. He lay 
upon a ragged strip of cocoa matting, more than ever 
a fallen angel in appearance. His suit of coarse flax, 
soiled, bursting at the seams, crumpled into a thou- 
sand diversified wrinkles and creases, inclosed him 
absurdly, like the garb of some effigy that had been 
stuffed in sport and thrown there after indignity had 
been wrought upon it. But firmly upon the high 
bridge of his nose reposed his gold-rimmed glasses, 
the surviving badge of his ancient glory. 

The sun's rays, reflecting quiveringly from the rip- 
pling sea upon his face, and the voices of the market- 
men woke " Beelzebub " BIythe. He sat up, blinking, 
and leaned his back against the wall of the mar- 
ket. Drawing a blighted silk handkerchief from his 
pocket, he assiduously rubbed and burnished his 
glasses. And while doing this he became aware that 
his bedroom had been invaded, and that polite brown 
and yellow men were beseeching him to vacate in 
favour of their market stuff. 

If the senor would have the goodness — a thousand 
pardons for bringing to him molestation — but soon 
would come the compradores for the day's provisions 
— surely they had ten thousand regrets at disturbing 

In this manner they expanded to him the intima- 

The Remnants of the Code 191 

tion that he must clear out and cease to clog the 
wheels of trade. 

Blythe stepped from the platform with the air of a 
prince leaving his canopied couch. He never quite 
lost that air, even at the lowest point of his fall. It 
is clear that the college of good breeding does not 
necessarily maintain a chair of morals within its walls. 

Blythe shook out his wry clothing, and moved 
slowly up the Calle Grande through the hot sand. He 
moved without a destination in his mind. The 
little town was languidly stirring to its dally life. 
Golden-skinned babies tumbled over one another in 
the grass. The sea breeze brought him appetite, but 
nothing to satisfy it. Throughout Coralio were its 
morning odors — those from the heavily fragrant 
tropical flowers and from the bread baking in the 
outdoor ovens of clay and the pervading smoke of 
their fires. Where the smoke cleared, the crystal air, 
with some of the efficacy of faith, seemed to remove the 
mountains almost to the sea, bringing them so near 
that one might count the scarred glades on their 
wooded sides. The light-footed Car lbs were swiftlj 
gliding to their tasks at the waterside. Already 
along the bosky trails from the banana groves files 
of horses were slowly moving, concealed, except fox 
their nodding heads and plodding legs, by the bunches 

192 Cabbages and Kings 

of green-golden fruit heaped upon their backs. On 
doorsills sat women combing their long, black hair and 
calling, one to another, across the narrow thorough- 
fares. Peace reigned in Coralio — arid and bald 
peace ; but still peace. 

On that bright morning when Nature seemed to 
be offering the lotus on the Dawn's golden platter 
" Beelzebub " Blythe had reached rock bottom. 
Further descent seemed impossible. That last night's 
slumber in a public place had done for him. As long 
as he had had a roof to cover him there had remained, 
unbridged, the space that separates a gentleman 
from the beasts of the jungle and the fowls of the air. 
But now he was little more than a whimpering oyster 
led to be devoured on the sands of a Southern sea 
by the artful walrus, Circumstance, and the im- 
placable carpenter, Fate. 

To Blythe money was now but a memory. He 
had drained his friends of all that their good-fellow- 
ship had to offer; then he had squeezed them to the 
last drop of their generosity ; and at the last. Aaron- 
like, he had smitten the rock of their hardening bosoms 
for the scattering, ignoble drops of Charity itself. 

He had exhausted his credit to the last real. With 
the minute keenness of the shameless sponger he was 
aware of every source in Coralio from which a glass 

The Remnants of the Code 193 

of mm, a meal or a piece of silver could be wheedled. 
Marshalling each such source in his mind, he con- 
sidered it with all the thoroughness and penetration 
that hunger and thirst lent him for the task. All his 
optimism failed to thresh a grain of hope from the 
chaff of his postulations. He had played out the 
game. That one night in the open had shaken his 
nerves. Until then there had been left to him at 
least a few grounds upon which he could base his 
unblushing demands upon his neighbours' stores. 
Now he must beg instead of borrowing. The most 
brazen sophistry could not dignify by the name of 
" loan " the coin contemptuously flung to a beach- 
comber who slept on the bare boards of the public 

But on this morning no beggar would have more 
thankfully received a charitable coin, for the demon 
thirst had him by the throat — the drunkard's matu- 
tinal thirst that requires to be slaked at each morn- 
ing station on the road to Tophet. 

Blythe walked slowly up the street, keeping a 
watchful eye for any miracle that might drop manna 
upon him in his wilderness. As he passed the popu- 
lar eating house of Madama Vasquez, Madama's 
boarders were just sitting down to freshly-baked 
bread, aguacates, pines and delicious coffee that sent 

194 Cabbages and Kings 

forth odorous guarantee of its quality upon the 
breeze. Madama was serving; she turned her shy, 
stolid, melancholy gaze for a moment out the win- 
dow; she saw Blythe, arid her expression turned more 
shy and embarrassed. " Beelzebub " owed her twenty 
pesos. He bowed as he had once bowed to less em- 
barrassed dames to whom he owed nothing, and passed 

Merchants and their clerks were throwing open 
the solid wooden doors of their shops. Polite but 
cool were the glances they cast upon Blythe as he 
lounged tentatively by with the remains of his old 
jaunty air; for they were his creditors almost without 

At the little fountain in the plaza he made an 
apology for a toilet with his wetted handkerchief. 
Across the open square filed the dolorous line of 
friends to the prisoners in the calabozay bearing the 
morning meal of the immured. The food in their 
hands aroused small longing in Blythe. It was 
drink that his soul craved, or money to buy it. 

In the streets he met many with whom he had been 
friends and equals, and whose patience and liberality 
he had gradually exhausted. Willard Geddie and 
Paula cantered past him with the coolest of nods, 
returning from their daily horseback ride along the 

The Remnants of the Code 195 

old Indian road. Keogh passed him at another cor- 
ner, whistling cheerfully and bearing a prize of newly- 
laid eggs for the breakfast of himself and Clancy. 
The jovial scout of Fortune w^as one of Blythe's vic- 
tims who had plunged his hand oftenest into his 
pocket to aid him. But now it seemed that Keogh, 
too, had fortified himself against further invasions. 
His curt greeting and the ominous light in his full, 
grey eye quickened the steps of " Beelzebub," whom 
desperation had almost incited to attempt an addi- 
tional " loan.'' 

Three drinking shops the forlorn one next visited 
in succession. In all of these his money, his credit 
and his welcome had long since been spent; but 
Blythe felt that he would have fawned in the dust at 
the feet of an enemy that morning for one draught 
of aguardiente. In two of the pulperias his coura- 
geous petition for drink was met with a refusal so 
polite that it stung worse than abuse. The third es- 
tablishment had acquired something of American 
methods ; and here he was seized bodily and cast out 
upon his hands and knees. 

This physical indignity caused a singular change 
in the man. As he picked himself up and walked 
away, an expression of absolute relief came upon his 
features. The specious and conciliatory smile that 

196 Cabbages and Kings 

had been graven there was succeeded by a look of 
calm and sinister resolve. " Beelzebub " had been 
floundering in the sea of improbity, holding by a 
slender life-line to the respectable world that had 
cast him overboard. He must have felt that with 
this ultimate shock the line had snapped, and have 
experienced the welcome ease of the drowning swim- 
mer who has ceased to struggle. 

Blythe walked to the next comer and stood there 
while he brushed the sand from his garments and re- 
polished his glasses. 

" I've got to do it — oh, I've got to do it," he told 
himself, aloud. " If I had a quart of rum I believe 
I could stave it off yet — for a little while. But 
there's no more rum for — * Beelzebub,' as they call 
me. By the flames of Tartarus ! if I'm to sit at the 
right hand of Satan somebody has got to pay the court 
expenses. You'll have to pony up, Mr. Frank Good- 
win. You're a good fellow; but a gentleman must 
draw the line at being kicked into the gutter. Black- 
mail isn't a pretty word, but it's the next station on 
the road I'm travelling." 

With purpose in his steps Blythe now moved rap- 
idly through the town by way of its landward en- 
virons. He passed through the squalid quarters of the 
improvident negroes and on beyond the picturesque 

The Remnants of the Code 197 

shacks of the poorer mestizos. From many points 
along his course he could see, through the umbrageous 
glades, the house of Frank Goodwin on its wooded 
hill. And as he crossed the little bridge over the la- 
goon he saw the old Indian, Galvez, scrubbing at the 
wooden slab that bore the name of Miraflores. Be- 
yond the lagoon the lands of Goodwin began to slope 
gently upward. A grassy road, shaded by a munifi- 
cent and diverse array of tropical flora wound from 
the edge of an outlying banana grove to the dwelling. 
Blythe took this road with long and purposeful strides. 

Goodwin was seated on his coolest gallery, dictat- 
ing letters to his secretary, a sallow and capable 
native youth. The household adhered to the Ameri- 
can plan of breakfast ; and that meal had been a thing 
of the past for the better part of an hour. 

The castaway walked to the steps, and flourished 
a hand. 

" Good morning, Blythe," said Goodwin, looking 
up. " Come in and have a chair. Anything I can 
do for you? " 

" I want to speak to you in private." 

Goodwin nodded at his secretary, who strolled out 
under a mango tree and lit a cigarette. Blythe took 
the chair that he had left vacant. 

" I want some money," he began, doggedly. 

198 Cabbages and Kings 

" Fm sorry," said Goodwin, with equal directness, 
" but you can't have any. You're drinking yourself 
to death, Blythe. Your friends have done all they 
could to help you to brace up. You won't help your- 
self. There's no use furnishing you with money to 
ruin yourself with any longer." 

" Dear man," said Blythe, tilting back his chair, 
" it isn't a question of social economy now. It's past 

that. I like you, Goodwin; and I've come to stick a 


knife between your ribs. I was kicked out of Es- 
pada's saloon this morning ; and Society owes me rep- 
aration for my wounded feelings." 

" I didn't kick you out." 

" No ; but in a general way you represent Society ; 
and in a particular way you represent my last chance. 
I've had to come down to it, old man — I tried to do 
it a month ago when Losada's man was here turning 
things over; but I couldn't do it then. Now it's dif- 
ferent. I want a thousand dollars, Goodwin; and 
you'll have to give it to me." 

" Only last week," said (Joodwin, with a smile, ** a 
silver dollar was all you were asking for." 

" An evidence," said Blythe, flippantly, " that I was 
still virtuous — though under heavy pressure. The 
wages of sin should be something higher than a peso 
worth forty-eight cents. Let's talk business. I am 

The Remnants of the Code 199 

the villain in the third act ; and I must have my mer- 
ited, if only temporary, triumph. I saw you collar 
the late president's valiseful of boodle. Oh, I know 
it's blackmail; but I'm liberal about the price. 1 
know I'm a cheap villain — one of the regular saw- 
mill-drama kind — but you're one of my particular 
friends, and I don't want to stick you hard." 

" Suppose you go into the details," suggested Good- 
win, calmly arranging his letters on the table. 

" All right," said " Beelzebub." " I like the way 
you take it. I despise histrionics ; so you will please 
prepare yourself for the facts without any red fire, 
calcium or grace notes on the saxophone. 

** On the night that His Fly-by-night Excellency 
arrived in town I was very drunk. You will excuse 
the pride with which I state that fact ; but it was quite 
a feat for me to attain that desirable state. Some- 
body had left a cot out under the orange trees in the 
yard of Madama Ortiz's hotel. I stepped over the 
wall, laid down upon it, and fell asleep. I was awak- 
ened by an orange that dropped from the tree upon 
my nose ; and I laid there for awhile cursing Sir Isaac 
Newton, or whoever it was that invented gravitation, 
for not confining his theory to apples. 

** And then along came Mr. Miraflores and his true- 
love with the treasury in a valise, and went into the 

200 Cabbages and Kings 

hotel. Next you hove in sight, and held' a pow-wow 
with the tonsorlal artist who insisted upon talking 
shop after hours. I tried to slumber again ; but once 
more my rest was disturbed — this time by the noise 
of the popgun that went off upstairs. Then that 
valise came crashing down into an orange tree just 
above my head; and I arose from my couch, not 
knowing when it might begm to rain Saratoga trunks. 
When the army and the constabulary began to arrive, 
with their medals and decorations hastily pinned to 
their pajamas, and their snickersnees drawn, I 
crawled into the welcome shadow of a banana plant. 
I remained there for an hour, by which time the ex- 
citement and the people had cleared away. And then, 
my dear Goodwin — excuse me — I saw you sneak 
back and pluck that ripe and juicy valise from the 
orange tree. I followed you, and saw you take it to 
your own house. A hundred-thousand-dollar crop 
from one orange tree in a season about breaks the 
record of the fruit-growing industry, 

" Being a gentleman at that time, of course I never 
mentioned the incident to anyone. But this morn- 
ing I was kicked out of a saloon, my code of honour 
is all out at the elbows, and I'd sell my mother's 
prayer-book for three fingers of aguardiente. I'm 
not putting on the screws hard. It ought to be worth 

The Remnants of the Code 201 

a thousand to you for me to have slept on that cot 
through the whole business without waking up and 
seeing anything." 

Goodwin opened two more letters, and made mem- 
oranda in pencil on them. Then he called " Man- 
uel ! " to his secretary, who came, spryly. 

"The Ariel — when does she sail?" asked Good- 

" Seiior," answered the youth, " at three this after- 
noon. She drops down-coast to Punta Soledad to 


complete her cargo of fruit. From there she sails for 
New Orleans without delay." 

" Bueno! " said Goodwin. " These letters may 
wait yet awhile." 

The secretary returned to his cigarette under the 
mango tree. 

" In round numbers," said Goodwin, facing Blythe 
squarely, " how much money do you owe in this 
town, not including the sums you have ' borrowed ' 
from me ? " 

" Five hundred — at a rough guess," answered 
Blythe, lightly. 

" Go somewhere in the town and draw up a sched- 
ule of your debts," said Goodwin. " Come back here 
in two hours, and I will send Manuel with the money 
to pay them. I will also have a decent outfit of cloth- 

202. Cabbages and Kings 

ing ready for you. You will sail on the Ariel at 
three. Manuel will accompany you as far as the 
deck of the steamer. There he will hand you one 
thousand dollars in cash. I suppose that we needn't 
discuss what you will be expected to do in return." 

" Oh, I understand," piped Blythe, cheerily. ** I 
was asleep all the time on the cot under Madama 
Ortiz's orange trees ; and I shake off the dust of Co- 
ralio forever. I'll play fair. No more of the lotus 
for me. Your proposition is O. K. You're a good 
fellow, Goodwin; and I let you off light. I'll agree 
to everjrthing. But in the meantime — I've a devil 
of a thirst on, old man — " 

" Not a centavo" said Goodwin, firmly, " until you 
are on board the Ariel. You would be drunk in 
thirty minutes if you had money now." 

But he noticed the blood-streaked eyeballs, the re- 
laxed form and the shaking hands of " Beelzebub ; " 
and he stepped into the dining room through the low 
window, and brought out a glass and a d^'canter of 

" Take a bracer, anyway, before you go *' he pro- 
posed, even as a man to the friend whom he enter- 

" Beelzebub " Blythe's eyes glistened at the sight 
of the solace for which his soul burned. To-da^ for 

The Remnants of the Code 203 

the first time his poisoned nerves had been denied 
their steadying dose ; and their retort was a mounting 
torment. He grasped the decanter and rattled its 
crystal mouth against the glass in his trembling hand. 
He flushed the glass, and then stood erect, holding it 
aloft for an instant. For one fleeting moment he 
held his head above the drowning waves of his abyss. 
He nodded easily at Goodwin, raised his brimming 
glass and murmured a " health " that men had used 
in his ancient Paradise Lost. And then so suddenly 
that he spilled the brandy over his hand, he set down 
his glass, untasted. 

" In two hours," his dry lips muttered to Goodwin, 
as he marched down the steps and turned his face 
toward the town. 

In the edge of the cool banana grove " Beelzebub " 
halted, and snapped the tongue of his belt buckle into 
another hole. 

" I couldn't do it," he explained, feverishly, to the 
waving banana fronds. " I wanted to, but I couldn't. 
A gentleman can't drink with the man that he black- 




the lotus, root, stem, and flower. The tropics gob- 
bled him up. He plunged enthusiastically into his 
work, which was to try to forget Rosine. 

Now, they who dine on the lotus rarely consume 
it plain. There is a sauce au diable that goes with it ; 
and the distillers are the chefs who prepare it. And 
on Johnny's menu card it read " brandy." With a 
bottle between them, he and Billy Keogh would sit 
on the porch of the little consulate at night and roar 
out great, indecorous songs, until the natives, slipping 
hastily past, would shrug a shoulder and mutter 

things to themselves about the " Americanos dia- 

One day Johnny's mozo brought the mail and 
dumped it on the table. Johnny leaned from his 
hammock, and fingered the four or five letters de- 
jectedly. Keogh was sitting on the edge of the table 

chopping lazily with a paper knife at the legs of a 


Shoes 205 

centipede that was crawling among the stationery. 
Johnny was in that phase of lotus-eating when all 
the world tastes bitter in one's mouth. 

" Same old thing ! " he complained. " Fool people 
writing for information about the country. They 
want to know all about raising fruit, and how to make 
a fortune without work. Half of 'em don't even send 
stamps for a reply. They think a consul hasn't any- 
thing to do but write letters. Slit those envelopes for 
me, old man, and see what they want. I'm feeling 
too rocky to move." 

Keogh, acclimated beyond all possibility of ill-hu- 
mour, drew his chair to the table with smiling compli- 
ance on his rose-pink countenance, and began to slit 
open the letters. Four of them were from citizens in 
various parts of the United States who seemed to re- 
gard the consul at Coralio as a cyclopaedia of 
information. They asked long lists of questions, nu- 
merically arranged, about the climate, products, pos- 
sibilities, laws, business chances, and statistics of the 
country in which the consul had the honour of repre- 
senting his own government. 

" Write 'em, please, Billy," said that inert official, 
" just a line, referring them to the latest consular re- 
port. Tell 'em the State Department will be de- 
lighted to furnish the literary gems. Sign my name. 

206 Cabbages and Kings 

Don't let your pen scratch, Billy; it'll keep me 

" Don't snore," said Keogh, amiably^ " and I'll do 
your work for you. You need a corps of assistants, 
anyhow. Don't see how you ever get out a report. 
Wake up a minute! — here's one more letter — it's 
from your own town, too — Dalesburg." 

"That so?" murmured Johnny showing a mild 
and obligatory interest. " What's it about? " 

** Postmaster writes," explained Keogh. ** Says a 
citizen of the town wants some facts and advice from 
you. Says the citizen has an idea in his head of 
coming down where you are and opening a shoe store. 
Wants to know if you think the business would pay. 
Says he's heard of the boom along this coast, and 
wants to get in on the ground floor." 

In spite of the heat and his bad temper, Johnny's 
hammock swayed with his laughter. Keogh laughed 
too ; and the pet monkey on the top shelf of the book- 
case chattered in shrill sympathy with the ironical 
reception of the letter from Dalesburg. 

"** Great bunions ! " exclaimed the consul. " Shoe 
store! What'U they ask about next, I wonder? 
Overcoat factory, I reckon. Say, Billy — of our 
3,000 citizens, how many do you suppose ever had 
OP \ pair of shoes ? " 

Shoes 207 

Keogh reflected judicially. 

** Let's see — there's you and me and — ^" 

" Not me," said Johnny, promptly and incorrectly, 
holding up a foot encased in a disreputable deerskin 
zapato. " I haven't been a victim to shoes in 

" But you've got 'em, though," went on Keogh. 
" And there's Goodwin and Blanchard and Geddie 
and old Lutz and Doc Gregg and that Italian that's 
agent for the banana company, and there's old Del- 
gado — no ; he wears sandals. And, oh, yes ; there's 
Madama Ortiz, * what kapes the hotel ' — she had on 
a pair of red kid slippers at the baile the other night. 
And Miss Pasa, her daughter, that went to school in 
the States — she brought back some civilized notions 
in the way of footgear. And there's the comandante^s 
sister that dresses up her feet on feast-days — and 
Mrs. Geddie, who wxars a two with a Castilian instep 
— and that's about all the ladies. Let's see — don't 
some of the soldiers at the cuartel — no : that's so ; 
they're allowed shoes only when on the march. In 
barracks they turn their little toeses out to grass." 

" 'Bout right," agreed the consul. " Not over 
twenty out of the three thousand ever felt leather on 
their walking arrangements. Oh, yes; Coralio is just 
the town for an enterprising shoe store — that doesn't 

208 Cabbages and Kings 

want to part with its goods. Wonder if old Patterson 
IS trying to jolly me! He always was full of things 
he called jokes. Write him a letter, Billy. I'll dic- 
tate it. We'll jolly him back a few." 

Keogh dipped his pen, and wrote at Johnny's dicta- 
tion. With many pauses, filled in with smoke and 
sundry travellings of the bottle and glasses, the fol- 
lowing reply to the Dalesburg communication was 
perpetrated : 

Me. Obadiah Patterson, 
Dalesburg, Ala. 

Dear Sir: In reply to your favour of July 2d, I 
have the honour to inform you that, according to my 
opinion, there is no place on the habitable globe that 
presents to the eye stronger evidence of the need of 
a first-class shoe store than does the town of Coralio, 
There are 3,000 inhabitants in the place, and not a 
single shoe store! The situation speaks for itself. 
This coast is rapidly becoming the goal of enter- 
prising business men, but the shoe business is one that 
has been sadly overlooked or neglected. In fact, 
there are a considerable number of our citizens actu- 
ally without shoes at present. 

Besides the want above mentioned, there is also a 
crying need for a brewery, a college of higher mathe- 

Shoes 209 

matics, a coal yard, and a clean and intellectual 
Punch and Judy show. I have the honour to be, sir, 

Your Obt. Servant, 
John De Graffenreid Atwood, 

U. S, Consul at Coralio. 

P.S. — Hello ! Uncle Obadiah. How's the old burg 
racking along? What would the government do with- 
out you and me? Look out for a green-headed par- 
rot and a bunch of bananas soon, from your old 
friend Johnny. 

** I throw in that postscript," explained the consul, 
"* so Uncle Obadiah won't take offence at the official 
tone of the letter! Now, Billy, you get that corre- 
spondence fixed up, and send Pancho to the post-office 
with it. The Ariadne takes the mail out to-morrow 
if they make up that load of fruit to-day." 

The night programme in Coralio never varied. 
The recreations of the people were soporific and flat. 
They wandered about, barefoot and aimless, speak- 
ing lowly and smoking cigar or cigarette. Looking 
down on the dimly lighted ways one seemed to see a 
threading maze of brunette ghosts tangled with a pro- 
cession of insane fireflies. In some houses the thrum- 
ming of lugubrious guitars added to the depression of 
the triste night. Giant tree-frogs rattled in the foli- 

210 Cabbages and Kings 

age as loudly as the end man's " bones " in a minstrel 
troupe. By nine o'clock the streets were almost de- 

Nor at the consulate was there often a change of 
bill. Keogh would come there nightly, for Coralio's 
one cool place was the little seaward porch of that 
official residence. 

The brandy would be kept moving ; and before mid- 
night sentiment would begin to stir in the heart of the 
self-exiled consul. Then he would relate to Keogh 
the story of his ended romance. Each night Keogh 
would listen patiently to the tale, and be ready with 
untiring sympathy. 

" But don't you think for a minute " — thus 
Johnny would always conclude his woeful narrative 
— " that I'm grieving about that girl, Billy. I've for- 
gotten her. She never enters my mind. If she were 
to enter that door right now, my pulse wouldn't gain 
a beat. That's all over long ago." 

"Don't I know it?" Keogh would answer. "Of 
course you've forgotten her. Proper thing to do. 
Wasn't quite O. K. of her to listen to the knocks that 
— er — Dink Pawson kept giving you." 

" Pink Dawson ! " — a world of contempt would be 
in Johnny's tones — ^^ Poor white trash ! That's what 
he was. Had five hundred acres of farming land, 

Shoes 211 

though ; and that counted. Maybe I'll have a chance 
to get back at him some day. The Dawsons weren't 
anybody. Everybody in Alabama knows the At- 
woods. Say, Billy — did you know my mother was 
a De Graifenreid? " 

" Why, no," Keogh would say ; " is that so? " He 
had heard it some three hundred times. 

" Fact. The De Graffenreids of Hancock County. 
But I never think of that girl any more, do I, Billy? " 

" Not for a minute, my boy," would be the last 
sounds heard by the conqueror of Cupid. 

At this point Johnny would fall into a gentle slum- 
ber, and Keogh would saunter out to his own shack 
under the calabash tree at the edge of the plaza. 

In a day or two the letter from the Dalesburg post- 
master and its answer had been forgotten by the 
Coralio exiles. But on the 26th day of July the fruit 
of the reply appeared upon the tree of events. 

The Andador, a fruit steamei that visited Coralio 
regularly, drew into the offing and anchored. The 
beach was lined with spectators while the quarantine 
doctor and the custom-house crew rowed out to attend 
to their duties. 

An hour later Billy Keogh lounged into the con- 
sulate, clean and cool in his linen clothes, and grin- 
ning like a pleased shark. 

212 Cabbages and Kings 

"Guess what?'* he said to Johnny, lounging in 
his hammock. 

" Too hot to guess," said Johnny, lazily. 

" Your shoe-store man's come," said Keogh, rolling 
the sweet morsel on his tongue, *' with a stock of 
goods big enough to supply the continent as far down 
as Terra del Fuego. They're carting his cases over 
to the custom-house now. Six barges full they 
brought ashore and have paddled back for the rest. 
Oh, ye saints in glory! won't there be regalements in 
the air when he gets onto the joke and has an inter- 
view with Mr. Consul? It'll be worth nine years in 
the tropics just to witness that one joyful moment." 

Keogh loved to take his mirth easily. He selected 
a clean place on the matting and lay upon the floor. 
The walls shook with his enjoyment. Johnny turned 
half over and blinked. 

" Don't tell me," he said, " that anybody was fool 
enough to take that letter seriously." 

" Four-thousand-dollar stock of goods ! " gasped 
Keogh, in ecstasy. " Talk about coals to Newcastle ! 
Why didn't he take a ship-load of palm-leaf fans to 
Spitzbergen while he was about it? Saw the old 
codger on the beach. You ought to have been there 
when he put on his specs and squinted at the five hun- 
dred or so barefooted citizens standing around. 


Shoes 213 


Are you telling the truth, Billy?" asked the 
consul, weakly. 

" Am I ? You ought to see the buncoed gentle- 
man's daughter he brought along. Looks! She 
makes the brick-dust senoritas here look like tar- 

" Go on," said Johnny, " if you can stop that 
asinine giggling. I hate to see a grown man make 
a laughing hyena of himself." 

** Name is Hemstetter," went on Keogh. " He's 
a — Hello ! what's the matter now ? " 

Johnny's moccasined feet struck the floor with a 
thud as he wriggled out of his hammock. 

" Get up, you idiot," he said, sternly, " or I'll brain 
you with this inkstand. That's Rosine and her 
father. Gad ! what a drivelling idiot old Patterson is ! 
Get up, here, Billy Keogh, and help me. What the 
devil are we going to do? Has all the world gone 
crazy ? " 

Keogh rose and dusted himself. He managed to 
regain a decorous demeanour. 

" Situation has got to be met, Johnny," he said, 
with some success at seriousness. " I didn't think 
about its being your girl until you spoke. First thing 
to do is to get them comfortable quarters. You go 
down and face the music, and I'll trot out to Good- 

214 Cabbages and Kings 

win's and see if Mrs. Goodwin won't take them in. 
They've got the decentest house in town." 

" Bless you, Billy ! " said the consul. " I knew 
you wouldn't desert me. The world's bound to come 
to an end, but maybe we can stave it off for a day or 

Keogh hoisted his umbrella and set out for Good- 
win's house. Johnny put on his coat and hat. He 
picked up the brandy bottle, but set it down again 
without drinking, and marched bravely down to the 

In the shade of the custom-house walls he found 
Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine surrounded by a mass of 
gaping citizens. The customs officers were ducking 
and scraping, while the captain of the Andador inter- 
preted the business of the new arrivals. Rosine 
looked healthy and very much alive. She was gazing 
at the strange scenes around her with amused interest. 
There was a faint blush upon her round cheek as she 
greeted her old admirer. Mr. Hemstetter shook 
hands with Johnny in a very friendly way. He was 
an oldish, impractical man — one of that numerous 
class of erratic business men who are forever dissat- 
isfied, and seeking a change. 

" I am very glad to see you, John — may I call you 
John ? " he saidt^ " tet n]e thf^nk you for your prompt 

Shoes 215 

answer to our postmaster's letter of inquiry. He 
volunteered to write to you on my behalf. I was 
looking about for something different in the way of 
a business in which the profits would be greater. I 
had noticed in the papers that this coast was receiving 
much attention from investors. I am extremely grate- 
ful for your advice to come. I sold out everything 
that I possess, and invested the proceeds in as fine a 
stock of shoes as could be bought in the North. You 
have a picturesque town here, John. I hope business 
will be as good as your letter justifies me in expect- 

Johnny's agony was abbreviated by the arrival of 
Keogh, who hurried up with the news that INIrs. Good- 
win would be much pleased to place rooms at the dis- 
posal of Mr. Hemstetter and his daughter. So there 
Mr. Hemstetter and Rosine were at once conducted 
and left to recuperate from the fatigue of the voyage, 
while Johnny went down to see that the cases of shoes 
were safely stored in the customs warehouse pending 
their examination by the officials. Keogh, grinning 
like a shark, skirmished about to find Goodwin, to in- 
struct him not to expose to Mr. Hemstetter the true 
state of Coralio as a shoe market until Johnny had 
been given a chance to redeem the situation, if such a 
thing were possible. 

216 Cabbages and Kings 

That night the consul and Keogh held a desperate 
consultation on the breezy porch of the consulate. 

" Send 'em back home," began Keogh, reading 
Johnny's thoughts. 

" I would," said Johnny, after a little silence ; " but 
I've been lying to you, Billy." 

" All right about that," said Keogh, affably. 

*' I've told you hundreds of times," said Johnny, 
slowly, " that I had forgotten that girl, haven't I ? " 

" About three hundred and seventy-five," admitted 
the monument of patience. 

" I lied," repeated the consul, " every time. I 
never forgot her for one minute. I was an obstinate 
ass for running away just because she said * No ' 
once. And I was too proud a fool to go back. I 
talked with Rosine a few minutes this evening up at 
Goodwin's. I found out one thing. You remember 
that farmer fellow who was always after her? " 

"Dink Pawson?" asked Keogh. 

" Pink Dawson. Well, he wasn't a hill of beans 
to her. She says she didn't believe a word of the 
things he told her about me. But I'm sewed up now, 
Billy. That tomfool letter we sent ruined whatever 
chance I had left. She'll despise me when she finds 
out that her old father has been made the victim of a 
joke that a decent school boy wouldn't have been 

Shoes 217 

guilty of. Shoes! Why he couldn't sell twenty 
pairs of shoes in Coralio if he kept store here for 
twenty years. You put a pair of shoes on one of 
these Caribs or Spanish brown boys and what'd he 
do? Stand on his head and squeal until he'd kicked 
'em off. None of 'em ever wore shoes and they never 
will. If I send 'em back home I'll have to tell the 
whole story, and what'U she think of me? I want 
that girl worse than ever, Billy, and now when she's 
in reach I've lost her forever because I tried to be 
funny when the thermometer was at 102." 

" Keep cheerful," said the optimistic Iveogh. 
" And let 'em open the store. I've been busy myself 
this afternoon. We can stir up a temporary boom in 
foot-gear anyhow. I'll buy six pairs when the doors 
open. I've been around and seen all the fellows and 
explained the catastrophe. They'll all buy shoes 
like they was centipedes. Frank Goodwin will take 
cases of 'em. The Geddies want about eleven pairs 
between 'em. Clancy is going to invest the savings of 
weeks, and even old Doc Gregg wants three pairs of 
alligator-hide slippers if they've got any tens. Blanch- 
ard got a look at Miss Hemstetter; and as he's a 
Frenchman, no less than a dozen pairs will do for him." 

" A dozen customers," said Johnny, " for a $4,000 
stock of shoes ! It won't work. There's a big prob- 

218 Cabbages and Kings 

lem here to figure out. You go home, Billy, and 
leave me alone. I've got to work at it all by myself. 
Take that bottle of Three-star along with you — no, 
sir ; not another ounce of booze for the United States 
consul. FU sit here to-night and pull out the think 
stop. If there's a soft place on this proposition any- 
where I'll land on it. If there isn't there'll be another 
wreck to the credit of the gorgeous tropics." 

Keogh left, feeling that he could be of no use. 
Johnny laid a handful of cigars on a table and 
stretched himself in a steamer chair. When the sud- 
den daylight broke, silvering the harbour ripples, he 
was still sitting there. Then he got up, whistling a 
little tune, and took his bath. 

At nine o'clock he walked down to the dingy little 
cable office and hung for half an hour over a blank. 
The result of his application was the following mes- 
sage, which he signed and had transmitted at a cost 
of $33 : 

To PiNKNEY Dawson, 

Dalesburg, Ala. 
Draft for $100 comes to you next mail. Ship me 
immediately 500 pounds stiff, dry cockleburrs. New 
use here in arts. Market price twenty cents pound. 
Further orders likely. Rush. 


>VlTHIN a week a suitable building had been se- 
cured in the Calle Grande, and Mr. Hemstetter's stock 
of shoes arranged upon their shelves. The rent of 
the store was moderate ; and the stock made a fine 
showing of neat white boxes, attractively displayed. 
Johnny's friends stood by him loyally. On the first 
day Keogh strolled into the store in a casual kind of 
way about once every hour, and bought shoes. After 
he had purchased a pair each of extension soles, con- 
gress gaiters, button kids, low-quartered calfs, dan- 
cing pumps, rubber boots, tans of various hues, tennis 
shoes and flowered slippers, he sought out Johnny to 
be prompted as to the names of other kinds that he 
might inquire for. The other English-speaking resi- 
dents also played their parts nobly by buying often 
and liberally. Keogh was grand marshal, and made 
them distribute their patronage, thus keeping up a 
fair run of custom for several days. 

Mr. Hemstetter »ras gratified by the amount of 


220 Cabbages and Kings 

business done thus far; but expressed surprise that 
the natives were so backward with their custom. 

" Oh, they're awfully shy," explained Johnny, as he 
wiped his forehead nervously. " They'll get the 
habit pretty soon. They'll come with a rush when 
they do come." 

One afternoon Keogh dropped into the consul's 
office, chewing an unlighted cigar thoughtfully. 

"Got anything up your sleeve?" he inquired of 
Johnny. " If you have it's about time to show it. 
If you can borrow some gent's hat in the audience, 
and make a lot of customers for an idle stock of shoes 
come out of it, you'd better spiel. The boys have all 
laid in enough footwear to last 'em ten years; and 
there's nothing doing in the shoe store but dolcy far 
nienty/ I just came by there. Your venerable victim 
was standing in the door, gazing through his specs at 
the bare toes passing by his emporium. The natives 
here have got the true artistic temperament. Me and 
Clancy took eighteen tintypes this morning in two 
hours. There's been but one pair of shoes sold all 
day. Blanchard went in and bought a pair of fur- 
lined house-slippers because he thought he saw Miss 
Hemstetter go into the store. I saw him throw the 
slippers into the lagoon afterwards." 

" There's a Mobile fruit steamer coming in to-mor- 

Ships 221 

row or next day," said Johnny. " We can't do any- 
thing until then." 

" What are you going to do — try to create a de- 
mand? " 

" Political economy isn't your strong point," said 
the consul, impudently. " You can't create a de- 
mand. But you can create a necessity for a demand. 
That's what I am going to do." 

Two weeks after the consul sent his cable, a fruit 
steamer brought him a huge, mysterious brown bale 
of some unknown commodity. Johnny's influence 
with the custom-house people was sufficiently strong 
for him to get the goods turned over to him without 
the usual inspection. He had the bale taken to the 
consulate and snugly stowed in the back room. 

That night he ripped open a corner of it and took 
out a handful of the cockleburrs. He examined 
them with the care with which a warrior examines his 
arms before he goes forth to battle for his lady-love 
and life. The burrs were the ripe August product, 
as hard as filberts, and bristling with spines as tough 
and sharp as needles. Johnny whistled softly a little 
tune, and went out to find Billy Keogh. 

Later in the night, when Coralio was steeped in 
slumber, he and Billy went forth into the deserted 
streets with their coats bulging like balloons. All up 

222 Cabbages and Kings 

and down the Calle Grande they went, sowing the 
sharp burrs carefully in the sand, along the narrow 
sidewalks, In every foot of grass between the silent 
houses. And then they took the side streets and by- 
ways, missing none. No place where the foot of man, 
woman or child might fall was slighted. Many trips 
they made to and from the prickly hoard. And then, 
nearly at the dawn, they laid themselves down to rest 
calmly, as great generals do after planning a victory 
according to the revised tactics, and slept, knowing 
that they had sowed with the accuracy of Satan sow- 
ing tares and the perseverance of Paul planting. 

With the rising sun came the purveyors of fruits 
and meats, and arranged their wares In and around 
the little market-house. At one end of the town near 
the seashore the market-house stood; and the sowing 
of the burrs had not been carried that far. The 
dealers waited long past the hour when their sales 
usually began. None came to buy. " Que hay? '* 
they began to exclaim, one to another. 

At their accustomed ti«ie, from every 'dobe and 
palm hut and grass-thatched shack and dim patio 
glided women — black women, brown women, lemon- 
colored women, women dun and yellow and tawny. 
They were the marketers starting to purchase the 
family supply of cassava, plantains, meat, fowls, arid 

Ships 223 

tortillas. Decollete they were and bare-armed and 
bare-footed, with a single skirt reaching below the 
knee. Stolid and ox-eyed, they stepped from their 
doorways into the narrow paths or upon the soft grass 
of the streets. 

The first to emerge uttered ambiguous squeals, and 
raised one foot quickly. Another step and they sat 
down, with shrill cries of alarm, to pick at the new 
and painful insects that had stung them upon the feet. 
" Que picadores diablos! " they screeched to one an- 
other across the narrow ways. Some tried the grass 
instead of the paths, but there they were also stung 
and bitten by the strange little prickly balls. They 
plumped down in the grass, and added their lamenta- 
tions to those of their sisters in the sandy paths. All 
through the town was heard the plaint of the feminine 
jabber. The venders in the market still wondered 
why no customers came. 

Then men, lords of the earth, came forth. They, 
too, began to hop, to dance, to limp, and to curse. 
They stood stranded and foolish, or stooped to pluck 
at the scourge that attacked their feet and ankles. 
Some loudly proclaimed the pest to be poisonous spi- 
ders of an unknown species. 

And then the children ran out for their morning 
romp. And now to the uproar was added the howls 

224 Cabbages and Kings 

of limping infants and cockleburred childhood. Ev- 
ery minute the advancing day brought forth fresh 

Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las Casas 
stepped from her honoured doorway, as was her daily 
custom, to procure fresh bread from the panaderia 
across the street. She was clad in a skirt of flowered 
yellow satin, a chemise of ruffled linen, and wore a 
purple mantilla from the looms of Spain. Her lem- 
on-tinted feet, alas! were bare. Her progress was 
majestic, for were not her ancestors hidalgos of Ara- 
gon ? Three steps she made across the velvety grass, 
and set her aristocratic sole upon a bunch of Johnny's 
burrs. Dona Maria Castillas y Buenventura de las 
Casas emitted a yowl even as a wild-cat. Turning 
about, she fell upon hands and knees, and crawled — 
ay, like a beast of the field she crawled back to her 
honourable door-sill. 

Don Seiior Ildefonso Federico Valdazar, Juez de la 
PaZy weighing twenty stone, attempted to convey his 
bulk to the pulperia at the comer of the plaza in order 
to assuage his matutinal thirst. The first plunge of 
his unshod foot into the cool grass struck a concealed 
mine. Don Ildefonso fell like a crumpled cathedral, 
crying out that he had been fatally bitten by a deadly 
scorpion. Everywhere were the shoeless citizens hop- 

Ships 225 

ping, stumbling, limping, and picking from their feet 
the venomous insects that had come in a single night 
to harass them. 

The first to perceive the remedy was Esteban Del- 
gado, the barber, a man of travel and education. 
Sitting upon a stone, he plucked burrs from his toes, 
and made oration: 

" Behold, my friends, these bugs of the devil ! I 
know them well. They soar through the skies in 
swarms like pigeons. These are dead ones that fell 
during the night. In Yucatan I have seen them as 
large as oranges. Yes! There they hiss like ser- 
pents, and have wings like bats. It is the shoes — 
the shoes that one needs! Zapatos — zapatos para 
mi! " 

Esteban hobbled to Mr. Hemstetter's store, and 
bought shoes. Coming out, he swaggered down the 
street with impunity, reviling loudly the bugs of the 
devil. The suffering ones sat up or stood upon one 
foot and beheld the immune barber. Men, women 
and children took up the cry: " Zapatos! zapatos! " 

The necessity for the demand had been created. 
The demand followed. That day Mr. Hemstetter 
sold three hundred pairs of shoes. 

" It is really surprising," he said to Johnny, who 
came up in the evening to help him straighten out the 

226 Cabbages and Kings 

stock, " how trade is picking up. Yesterday I made 
but three sales." 

" I told you they'd whoop things up when they got 
started," said the consul. 

" I think I shall order a dozen more cases of goods, 
to keep the stock up," said Mr. Hemstetter, beaming 
through his spectacles. 

" I wouldn't send in any orders yet," advised 
Johnny. " Wait till you see how the trade holds 

Each night Johnny and Keogh sowed the crop that 
grew dollars by day. At the end of ten days two- 
thirds of the stock of shoes had been sold; and the 
stock of cockleburrs was exhausted. Johnny cabled 
to Pink Dawson for another 500 pounds, paying 
twenty cents per pound as before. Mr. Hemstetter 
carefully made up an order for $1500 worth of shoes 
from Northern firms. Johnny hung about the store 
until this order was resuly for the mail, and succeeded 
in destroying it before it reached the postoffice. 

That night he took Rosine under the mango tree by 
Goodwin's porch, and confessed everything. She 
looked him in the eye, and said : " You are a very 
wicked man. Father and I will go back home. You 
say it was a joke.'^ I think it is a very serious mat- 

Ships 227 

But at the end of half an hour's argument the con- 
versation had been turned upon a different subject. 
The two were considering the respective merits of 
pale blue and pink wall paper with which the old 
colonial mansion of the Atwoods in Dalesburg was to 
be decorated after the wedding. 

On the next morning Johnny confessed to Mr. 
Hcmstetter. The shoe merchant put on* his specta- 
cles, and said through them : " You strike me as be- 
ing a most extraordinary young scamp. If I had not 
managed this enterprise with good business judgment 
my entire stock of goods might have been a complete 
loss. Now, how do you propose to dispose of the 
rest of it.?" 

When the second invoice of cockleburrs arrived 
Johnny loaded them and the remainder of the shoes 
into a schooner, and sailed down the coast to Alazan. 

There, in the same dark and diabolical manner, ho 
repeated his success: and came back with a bag of 
money and not so much as a shoestring. 

And then he besought his great Uncle of the waving 
goatee and starred vest to accept his resignation, for 
the lotus no longer lured him. He hankered for the 
spinach and cress of Dalesburg. 

The services of Mr. William Terence Keogh as 
acting consul, pro tern., were suggested and accepted. 

228 Cabbages and Kings 

and Johnny sailed with the Hemstetters back to his 
native shores. 

Keogh slipped into the sinecure of the American 
consulship with the ease that never left him even in 
such high places. The tintype establishment was 
soon to become a thing of the past, although its 
deadly work along the peaceful and helpless Spanish 
Main was never effaced. The restless partners were 
about to be off again, scouting ahead of the slow ranl^s 
of Fortune. But now they would take different ways. 
There were rumours of a promising uprising in Peru ; 
and thither the martial Clancy would turn his adven- 
turous steps. As for Keogh, he was figuring in his 
mind and on quires of Government letter-heads a 
scheme that dwarfed the art of misrepresenting the 
human countenance upon tin. 

" What suits me,'* Keogh used to say, " In the way 
of a business proposition is something diversified that 
looks like a longer shot than it is — something in the 
way of a genteel graft that isn't worked enough for 
the correspondence schools to be teaching it by mail. 
I take the long end; but I like to have at least as 
good a chance to win as a man learning to play poker 
on an ocean steamer, or running for governor of 
Texas on the Republican ticket. And when I cash 

Ships 229 

in my winnings I don't want to find any widows' and 
orphans' chips in my stack." 

The grass-grown globe was the green table on 
which Keogh gambled. The games he played were 
of his* own invention. He was no grubber after the 
diffident dollar. Nor did he care to follow it with 
horn and hounds. Rather he loved to coax it with 
egregious and brilliant flies from its habitat in the 
waters of strange streams. Yet Keogh was a busi- 
ness man ; and his schemes, in spite of their singular- 
ity, were as solidly set as the plans of a- building 
contractor. In Arthur's time Sir William Keogh 
would have been a Knight of the Round Table. In 
these modem days he rides abroad, seeking the Graft 
instead of the Grail. 

Three days after Johnny's departure, two small 
schooners appeared off Coralio. After some delay a 
boat put off from one of them, and brought a sun- 
burned young man ashore. This young man had a 
shrewd and calculating eye ; and he gazed with amaze- 
ment at the strange things that he saw. He found 
on the beach some one who directed him to the con- 
sul's office ; and thither he made his way at a nervous 

Keogh was sprawled in the official chair, drawing 

230 Cabbages and Kings 

caricatures of his Uncle's head on an official pad of 
paper. He looked up at his visitor. 

"Where's Johnny Atwood?" inquired the sun- 
burned young man, in a business tone. 

" Gone," said Keogh, working carefully at Uncle 
Sam's necktie. 

"-That's just like him," remarked the nut-brown 
une, leaning against the table. " He always was a 
fellow to gallivant around instead of 'tending to busi- 
ness. Will he be in soon ? " 

" Don't think so," said Keogh, after a fair amount 
of deliberation. 

" I s'pose he's out at some of his tomfoolery," con- 
jectured the visitor, in a tone of virtuous conviction. 
" Johnny never would stick to anything long enough 
to succeed. I wonder how he manages to run his 
business here, and never be 'round to look after it." 

" I'm looking after the business just now," ad- 
mitted the pro tern, consul. 

" Are you ? — then, say ! — where's the factory ? " 

" What factory .'^ " asked Keogh, with a mildly po- 
lite interest. 

" Why, the factory where they use them cockle- 
burrs. Lord knows what they use 'em for, anyway! 
I've got the basements of both them ships out there 
loaded with 'em. I'll give you a bargain in this lot. 

Ships 231 

I've had every man, woman and child around Dales- 
burg that wasn't busy pickin' 'em for a month. I 
hired these ships to bring 'em over. Everybody 
thought I was crazy. Now, you can have this lot for 
fifteen cents a pound, delivered on land. And if you 
want more I guess old Alabam' can come up to the 
demand. Johnny told me when he left home that if 
he struck anything down here that there was any 
money in he'd let me in on it. Shall I drive the ships 
in and hitch? " 

A look of supreme, almost incredulous, delight 
dawned in Keogh's ruddy countenance. He dropped 
his pencil. His eyes turned upon the sunburned 
young man with joy in them mingled with fear lest 
his ecstasy should prove a dream. 

" For God's sake tell me," said Kcogh, earnestly, 
" are you Dink Pawson ? " 

" My name is Pinkney Dawson," said the cornerer 
of the cockleburr market. 

Billy Keogh slid rapturously and gently from his 
chair to his favourite strip of matting on the floor. 

There were not many sounds in Coralio on that 
sultry afternoon. Among those that were may be 
mentioned a noise of enraptured and unrighteous 
laughter from a prostrate Irish-American, while a 
sunburned young man, with a shrewd eye, looked on 

282 Cabbages and Kings 

him with wonder and amazement. Also the ^' tramp, 
tramp, tramp *' of many well-shod feet in the streets 
outside. Also the lonesome wash of the waves that 
beat along the historic shores of the Spanish Main. 


A TWO-INCH stub of a blue pencil was the wand 
with which Keogh performed the preliminary acts of 
his magic. So, with this he covered paper with dia- 
grams and figures while he waited for the United 
States of America to send down to Coralio a successor 
to Atwood, resigned. 

The new scheme that his mind had conceived, his 
stout heart indorsed, and his blue pencil corroborated, 
was laid around the characteristics and human frailties 
of the new president of Anchuria. These character- 
istics, and the situation out of which Keogh hoped to 
wrest a golden tribute, deserve chronicling contribu- 
tive to the clear order of events. 

President Losada — many called him Dictator — 
was a man whose genius would have made him con- 
spicuous even among Anglo-Saxons, had not that 
genius been intermixed with other traits that were 
petty and subversive. He had some of the lofty pa- 
triotism of Washington (the man he most admired), 


284 Cabbages and Kings .^ 

the force of Napoleon, and much of the wiidom Om 
the sages. These characteristics might have justified 
him in the assumption of the title of '^ The Illustrious 
Liberator," had they not been accompanied by a 
stupendous and amazing vanity that kept him in the 
less worthy ranks of the dictators. 

Yet he did his country great service. With a 
mighty grasp he shook it nearly free from the shackles 
of ignorance and sloth and the vermin that fed upon 
it, and all but made it a power in the council of na- 
tions. He established schools and hospitals, built 
roads, bridges, railroads and palaces, and bestowed 
generous subsidies upon the arts and sciences. He 
was the absolute despot and the idol of his people. 
The wealth of the country poured into his hands. 
Other presidents had been rapacious without reason. 
Losada amassed enormous wealth, but his people had 
their share of the benefits. 

The joint in his armour was his insatiate passion 
for monuments and tokens commemorating his glory. 
In every town he caused to be erected statues of him- 
self bearing legends in praise of his greatness. In the 
walls of every public edifice, tablets were fixed reciting 
his splendour and the gratitude of his subjects. His 
stisituettes and portraits were scattered throughout 
the land in every house and hut. One of the syco- 

Masters of Arts 283 

phants in his court painted him as St. John, with a 
halo and a train of attendants in full uniform. Lo- 
sada saw nothing incongruous in this picture, and 
had it hung in a church in the capital. He ordered 
from a French sculptor a marble group including 
himself with Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and 
one or two others whom he deemed worthy of the 

He ransacked Europe for decorations, employing 
policy, money and intrigue to cajole the orders he 
coveted from kings and rulers. On state occasions 
his breast was covered from shoulder to shoulder with 
crosses, stars, golden roses, medals and ribbons. It 
was said that the man who could contrive for him a 
new decoration, or invent some new method of ex- 
tolling his greatness, might plunge a hand deep into 
the treasury. 

This was the man upon whom Billy Keogh had his 
eye. The gentle buccaneer had observed the rain of 
favours that fell upon those who ministered to the 
president's vanities, and he did not deem it his duty 
to hoist his umbrella against the scattering drops of 
liquid fortune. 

In a few weeks the new consul arrived, releasing 
Keogh from his temporary duties. He was a young 
man fresh from college, who lived for botany alone. 

286 Cabbages and Kings 

The consulate at Coralio gave him the opportunity to 
study tropical flora. He wore smoked glasses, and 
carried a green umbrella. He filled the cool, back 
porch of the consulate with plants and specimens so 
that space for a bottle and chair was not to be found. 
Keogh gazed on him sadly, but without rancour, and 
began to pack his gripsack. For his new plot against 
stagnation along the Spanish Main required of him a 
voyage overseas. 

Soon came the Karlsefin again — she of the 
trampish habits — gleaning a cargo of coco£Cnuts for 
a speculative descent upon the New York market. 
Keogh was booked for a passage on the return trip. 

" Yes, I'm going to New York,*' he explained to the 
group of his countrymen that had gathered on the 
beach to see him off. " But I'll be back before you 
miss me. I've undertaken the art education of this 
piebald country, and I'm not the man to desert it 
while it's in the early throes of tintypes." 

With this mysterious declaration of his intentions 
Keogh boarded the Karlsefin. 

Ten days later, shivering, with the collar of his thin 
coat turned high, he burst into the studio of Carolus 
White at the top of a tall building in Tenth Street, 
New York City. 

Carolus White was smokipg a cigarette and frying 

Masters of Arts 237 

sausages over an oil stove. He was only twenty- 
three, and had noble theories about art. 

" Billy Keogh ! '* exclaimed White, extending the 
hand that was not busy with the frying pan. " From 
what part of the uncivilized world, I wonder ! " 

'^ Hello, Carry," said Keogh, dragging forward a 
stool, and holding his fingers close to the stove. 
" I'm glad I found you so soon. I've been looking 
for you all day in the directories and art galleries. 
The free-lunch man on the corner told me where you 
were, quick. I was sure you'd be painting pictures 


Keogh glanced about the studio with the shrewd 
eye of a connoisseur in business. 

" Yes, you can do it," he declared, with many 
gentle nods of his head. " That big one in the cor- 
ner with the angels and green clouds and band-wagon 
is just the sort of thing we want. What would you 
call that. Carry — scene from Coney Island, ain't 

" That," said White, " I had intended to call ' The 
Translation of Elijah,' but you may be nearer right 
than I am." 

" Name doesn't matter," said Keogh, largely ; " it's 
the frame and the varieties of paint that does the 
trick. Now, I can tell you in a minute what I want. 

238 Cabbages and Kings 

I've come on a little voyage of two thousand miles to 
take you in with me on a scheme. I thought of you 
as soon as the scheme showed itself to me. How 
would you like to go back with me and paint a pic- 
ture? Ninety days for the trip, and five thousand 
dollars for the job." 

" Cereal food or hair-trnic posters ? *' asked White. 

" It isn't an ad." 

" What kind of a picture is it to be? " 

" It's a long story," said Keogh. 

" Go ahead with it. If you don't mind, while you 
talk I'll just keep my eye on these sausages. Let 
'em get one shade deeper than a Vandyke brown and 
you spoil 'em." 

Keogh explained his project. They were to return 
to Coralio, where White was to pose as a distinguished 
American portrait painter who was touring in the 
tropics as a relaxation from his arduous and remuner- 
ative professional labours. It was not an unreason- 
able hope, even to those who trod in the beaten paths 
of business, that an artist with so much prestige might 
secure a commission to perpetuate upon canvas the 
lineaments of the president, and secure a share of the 
pesos that were raining upon the caterers to his weak- 

Keogh had set his price at ten thousand dollars. 

Masters of Arts 289 

Artists had been paid more for portraits. He and 
White were to share the expenses of the trip, and 
divide the possible profits. Thus he laid the scheme 
before White, whom he had known in the West before 
one declared for Art and the other became a Bedouin. 

Before long the two machinators abandoned the 
rigour of the bare studio for a snug corner of a cafe. 
There they sat far into the night, with old envelopes 
and Keogh's stub of blue pencil between them. 

At twelve o'clock White doubled up in his chair, 
with his chin on his fist, and shut his eyes at the 
unbeautiful wall-paper. 

" I'll go you, Billy," he said, in the quiet tones of 
decision. " I've got two or three hundred saved up 
for sausages and rent; and I'll take the chance with 
you. Five thousand! It will give me two years in 
Paris and one in Italy. I'll begin to pack to-mor- 

" You'll begin in ten minutes," said Keogh. " It's 
to-morrow now. The Karlsefin starts back at four 
p. M. Come on to your painting shop, and I'll help 

For five months in the year Coralio is the Newport 
of Anchuria. Then only does the town possess life. 
From November to March it is practically the seat of 
government. The president with his official family 

240 Cabbages and Kings 

sojourns there; and society follows him. The pleas- 
ure-loving people make the season one long holiday 
of amusement and rejoicing. Fiestas^ balls, games, 
sea bathing, processions and small theatres contribute 
to their enjoyment. The famous Swiss band from 
the capital plays in the little plaza every evening, 
while the fourteen carriages and vehicles in the town 
circle in funereal but complacent procession, Indians 
from the interior mountains, looking like prehistoric 
stone idols, come down to peddle their handiwork in 
the streets. The people throng the narrow ways, a 
chattering, happy, careless stream of buoyant human- 
ity. Preposterous children rigged out with the 
shortest of ballet skirts and gilt wings, howl, under- 
foot, among the effervescent crowds. Especially is 
the arrival of the presidential party, at the opening 
of the season, attended with pomp, show and patriotic 
demonstrations of enthusiasm and delight. 

When Keogh and White reached their destination, 
on the return trip of the Karlsefin, the gay winter 
season was well begun. As they stepped upon the 
beach they could hear the band playing in the plaza. 
The village maidens, with fireflies already fixed in 
their dark locks, were gliding, barefoot and coy- 
eyed, along the paths. Dandies in white linen, 
swinging their canes, were beginning their seductive 

Masters of Arts 241 

strolls. The air was full of human essence, of arti- 
ficial enticement, of coquetry, indolence, pleasure — 
the man-made sense of existence. 

The first two or three days after their arrival were 
spent in preliminaries. Keogh escorted the artist 
about town, introducing him to the little circle of 
English-speaking residents and pulling whatever 
wires he could to effect the spreading of White's 
fame as a painter. And then Keogh planned a more 
spectacular demonstration of the idea he wished to 
keep before the public. 

He and White engaged rooms in the Hotel de los 
Estranjeros. The two were clad in new suits of 
immaculate duck, with American straw hats, and 
carried canes of remarkable uniqueness and inutility. 
Few caballeros in Coralio — even the gorgeously 
uniformed officers of the Anchurian army — were as 
conspicuous for ease and elegance of demeanour as 
Keogh and his friend, the great American painter, 
Sefior White. 

White set up his easel on the beach and made strik- 
ing sketches of the mountain and sea views. The 
native population formed at his rear in a vast, chat- 
tering semicircle to watch his work. Keogh, with 
his care for details, had arranged for himself a pose 
which he carried out with fidelity. His role was that 

242 Cabbages and Kings 

of friend to the great artist, a man of affairs and 
leisure. The visible emblem of his position was a 
pocket camera. 

" For branding the man who owns it," said 1m, 
** a genteel dilettante with a bank account and an 
easy conscience, a steam-yacht ain't in it with a 
camera. You see a man doing nothing but loafing 
around making snap-shots, and you know right away 
he reads up well in * Bradstreet.' You notice these 
old millionaire boys — soon as they get through 
taking everything else in sight they go to taking 
photographs. People are more impressed by a 
kodak than they are by a title or a four-carat 
scarf-pin." So Keogh strolled blandly about Co- 
ralio, snapping the scenery and the shrinking 
senoritas, while White posed conspicuously in the 
higher regions of art. 

Two weeks after their arrival, the scheme began to 
bear fruit. An aide-de-camp of the president drove 
to the hotel in a dashing victoria. The president 
desired that Senor White come to the Casa Morena 
for an informal interview. 

Keogh gripped his pipe tightly between his teeth. 
" Not a cent less than ten thousand," he said to the 
artist — " remember the price. And in gold or its 

Masters of Arts 243 

equivalent — don't let him stick you with this bar- 
gain-counter stuff they call money here." 

** Perhaps it isn't that he wants," said White. 

'* Get out ! " said Keogh, with splendid confidence. 
*' I know what he wants. He wants his picture 
painted by the celebrated young American painter 
and filibuster now sojourning in his down-trodden 
country. Off you go." 

The victoria sped away with the artist. Keogh 
walked up and down, puffing great clouds of smoke 
from his pipe, and waited. In an hour the victoria 
swept again to the door of the hotel, deposited White, 
and vanished. The artist dashed up the stairs, 
three at a step. Keogh stopped smoking, and be- 
came a silent interrogation point. 

" Landed," exclaimed White, with his boyish face 
flushed with elation. " Billy, you are a wonder. He 
wants a picture. I'll tell you all about it. By 
Heavens! that dictator chap is a corker! He's a 
dictator clear down to his finger-ends. He's a kind 
of combination of Julius Caesar, Lucifer and Chaun- 
cey Depew done in sepia. Polite and grim — that's 
his way. The room I saw him in was about ten 
acres big, and looked like a Mississippi steamboat 
with its gilding and mirrors and white paint. He 

244 Cabbages and Kings 

talks English better than I can ever hope to. The 
matter of the price came up. I mentioned ten thou- 
sand. I expected him to call the guard and have 
me taken out and shot. He didn't move an eyelash. 
He just waved one of his chestnut hands in a careless 
way, and said, * Whatever you say.' I am to go back 
to-morrow and discuss with him the details of the 

Keogh hung his head. Self-abasement was easy 
to read in his downcast countenance. 

" I'm failing. Carry," he said, sorrowfully. " I'm 
not fit to handle these man's-size schemes any longer. 
Peddling oranges in a push-cart is about the suitable 
graft for me. When I said ten thousand, I swear I 
thought I had sized up that brown man's limit to 
within two cents. He'd have melted down for fifteen 
thousand just as easy. Say — Carry — you'll see 
old man Keogh safe in some nice, quiet idiot asylum, 
won't you, if he makes a break like that again ? " 

The Casa Morena, although only one story in 
height, was a building of brown stone, luxurious as 
a palace in its interior. It stood on a low hill in a 
walled garden of splendid tropical flora at the upper 
edge of Coralio. The next day the president's car- 
riage came again for the artist. Keogh went out for 
a walk along the beach, where he and his " picture 

Masters of Arts 245 

box " were now familiar sights. When he returned 
to the hotel White was sitting in a steamer-chair on 
the balcony. 

** Well," said Keogh, " did you and His Nibs de- 
cide on the kind of a chromo he wants ? " 

White got up and walked back and forth on the 
balcony a few times. Then he stopped, and laughed 
strangely. His face was flushed, and his eyes were 
bright with a kind of angry amusement. 

** Look here, Billy," he said, somewhat roughly, 
*' when you first came to me in my studio and men- 
tioned a picture, I thought you wanted a Smashed 
Oats or a Hair Tonic poster painted on a range of 
mountains or the side of a continent. Well, either 
of those jobs would have been Art in its highest form 
compared to the one you've steered me against. I 
can't paint that picture, Billy. You've got to let me 
out. Let me try to tell you what that barbarian 
wants. He had it all planned out and even a sketch 
made of his idea. The old boy doesn't draw badly 
at all. But, ye goddesses of Art! listen to the mon- 
strosity he expects me to paint. He wants himself 
in the centre of the canvas, of course. He is to be 
painted as Jupiter sitting on Olympus, with the 
clouds at his feet. At one side of him stands George 
Washington, in full regimentals, with his hand on the 

246 Cabbages and Kings 

president's shoiilder. An angel with outstretched 
wings hovers overhead, and is placing a laurel wreath 
on the president's head, crowning him — Queen of 
the May, I suppose. In the background is to be 
cannon, more angels and soldiers. The man who 
would paint that picture would have to have the soul 
of a dog, and would deserve to go down into oblivion 
without even a tin can tied to his tail to sound his 

Little beads of moisture crept out all over Billy 
Keogh's brow. The stub of his blue pencil had not 
figured out a contingency like this. The machinery 
of his plan had run with flattering smoothness until 
now. He dragged another chair upon the balcony, 
and got White back to his seat. He lit his pipe with 
apparent calm. 

" Now, sonny," he said, with gentle grimness, 
** you and me will have an Art to Art talk; You've 
got your art and I've got mine. Yours is the real 
Pierian stuff that turns up its nose at bock-beer signs 
and oleographs of the Old Mill. Mine's the art of 
Business. This was my scheme, and it worked out 
like two-and-two. Paint that president man as Old 
King Cole, or Venus, or a landscape, or a fresco, or 
a bunch of lilies, or anything he thinks he looks like. 
But get the paint on the canvas and collect the spoils. 

Masters of Arts 247 

You wouldn't throw me down, Carry, at this stage 
of the game. Think of that ten thousand." 

" I can't help thinking of it," said White, " and 
that's what hurts. I'm tempted to throw every ideal 
I ever had down in the mire, and steep my soul in 
infamy by painting that picture. That five thou- 
sand meant three years of foreign study to me, and 
I'd almost sell my soul for that." 

" Now it ain't as bad as that," said Keogh, sooth- 
ingly. " It's a business proposition. It's so much 
paint and time against money. I don't fall in with 
your idea that that i-icluie wcuM so everlastingly 
jolt the art side of the questior George Washing- 
ton was all right, you know, and nobody could say 
a word against the angel. I don't think so bad of 
that group. If you was to give Jupiter a pair of 
epaulets and a sword, and kind of work the clouds 
around to look like a blackberry patch, it wouldn't 
make such a bad battle scene. Why, if we hadn't 
already settled on the price, he ought to pay an extra 
thousand for Washington, and the angel ought to 
raise it five hundred." 

" You don't understand, Billy," said White, with ^ 
an uneasy laugh. " Some of us fellows whb try to 
paint have big notions about Art. I wanted to paint 
a picture some day that people would stand before 

248 Cabbages and Kings 

and forget that it was made of paint. I wanted it to 
creep into them like a bar of music and mushroom 
there like a soft bullet. And I wanted 'em to go 
away and ask, *What else has he done?' And I 
didn't want 'em to find a thing; not a portrait nor 
a magazine cover nor an illustration nor a drawing 
of a girl — nothing but the picture. That's why 
I've lived on fried sausages, and tried to keep true to 
myself. I persuaded myself to do this portrait for 
the chance it might give me to study abroad. But 
this howling, screaming caricature! Good Lord! 
can't you see how it is ? " 

" Sure," said Keogh, as tenderly as he would have 
spoken to a child, and he laid a long forefinger on 
White's knee. " I see. It's bad to have your art 
all slugged up like that. I know. You wanted to 
paint a big thing like the panorama of the battle of 
Gettysburg. But let me kalsomine you a little men- 
tal sketch to consider. Up to date we're out $385.50 
on this scheme. Our capital took every cent both 
of us could raise. We've got about enough left to 
get back to New York on. I need my share of that 
ten thousand. I want to work a copper deal in 
Idaho, and make a hundred thousand. That's the 
business end of the thing. Come down off your arc 
perch, Carry, and let's land that hatful of dollars." 

Masters of Arts 249 

" Billy,'' said White, with an effort, " I'll try. I 
won't say I'll do it, but I'll try. I'll go at it, and 
put it through if I can." 

** That's business," said Keogh, heartily. " Good 
boy ! Now, here's another thing — rush that pic- 
ture — crowd it through as quick as you can. Get a 
couple of boys to help you mix the paint if neces- 
sary. I've picked up some pointers around town. 
The people here are beginning to get sick of Mr. 
President. They say he's been too free with conces- 
sions ; and they accuse him of trying to make a dicker 
with England to sell out the country. We want that 
picture done and paid for before there's any row." 

In the great patio of Casa Morena, the president 
caused to be stretched a huge canvas. Under this 
White set up his temporary studio. For two hours 
each day the great man sat to him. 

White worked faithfully. But, as the work pro- 
gressed, he had seasons of bitter scorn, of infinite 
self-contempt, of sullen gloom and sardonic gaiety. 
Keogh, with the patience of a great general, soothed, 
coaxed, argued — kept him at the picture. 

At the end of a month White announced that 
the picture was completed — Jupiter, Washington, 
angels, clouds, cannon and all. His face was pale 
and his mouth drawn straight when he told Keogh. 

250 Cabbages and Kings 

He said the president was much pleased with it. It 
was to be hung in the National Gallery of Statesmen 
and Heroes. The artist had been requested to return 
to Casa Morena on the following day to receive pay- 
ment. At the appointed time he left the hotel, silent 
under his friend's joyful talk of their success. 

An hour later he walked into the room where 
Keogh was waiting, threw his hat on the floor, and 
sat upon the table. 

" Billy," he said, in strained and labouring tones, 
** I've a little money out West in a small business that 
my brother is running. It's what I've been living on 
while I've been studying art. I'll draw out my 
share and pay you back what you've lost on this 

" Lost ! " exclaimed Keogh, jumping up. " Didn't 
you get paid for the picture? " 

" Yes, I got paid," said White. " But just now 
there isn't any picture, and there isn't any pay. If 
you care to hear about it, here are the edifying de- 
tails. The president and I were looking at the 
painting. His secretary brought & bank draft on 
New York for ten thousand dollars and handed it to 
me. The moment I touched it I went wild. I tore 
it into little pieces and threw them on the floor. A 
workman was repainting the pillars inside the patio. 

Masters of Arts 251 

A bucket of his paint happened to be convenient. I 
picked up his brush and slapped a quart of blue paint 
all over that ten-thousand-dollar nightmare. I 
bowed, and walked out. The president didn't move 
or speak. That was one time he was taken by sur- 
prise. It's tough on you, Billy, but I couldn't help 
it." . 

There seemed to be excitement in Coralio. Out- 
side there was a confused, rising murmur pierced by 
high-pitched cries. " Bajo el traidor — Muerte el 
traidor! " were the words they seemed to form. 

" Listen to that ! " exclaimed White, bitterly ; " I 
know that much Spanish. They're shouting, 
* Down with the traitor ! ' I heard them before. I 
felt that they meant me. I was a traitor to Art. 
The picture had to go." 

" * Down with the blank fool ' would have suited 
your case better," said Keogh, with fiery emphasis. 
" You tear up ten thousand dollars like an old rag 
because the way you've spread on five dollars' worth 
of paint hurts your conscience. Next time I pick a 
side-partner in a scheme the man has got to go be- 
fore a notary and swear he never even heard the 
word ' ideal ' mentioned." 

Keogh strode from the room, white-hot. White 
paid little attention to his resentment. The scorn of 

252 Cabbages and Kings 

Billy Keogh seemed a trifling thing beside the greater 
self'scom he had escaped.^ 

In Coralio the excitement waxed. An outburst 
was imminent. The cause of this demonstration of 
displeasure was the presence in the town of a big, 
pink-cheeked Englishman, who, it was said, was an 
agent of his government come to clinch the bargain 
by which the president placed his people in the hands 
of a foreign power. It was charged that not only 
had he given away priceless concessions, but that the 
public debt was to be transferred into the hands of 
the English, and "the custom-houses turned over to 
them as a guarantee. The long-enduring people had 
determined to make their protest felt. 

On that night, in Coralio and in other towns, their 
ire found vent. Yelling mobs, mercurial but dan- 
gerous, roamed the streets. They overthrew the 
great bronze statue of the president that stood in the 
centre of the plaza, and hacked it to shapeless pieces. 
They tore from public buildings the tablets set there 
proclaiming the glory of the " Illustrious Liberator." 
His pictures in the government offices were demol- 
ished/ The mobs even attacked the Casa Morena, 
but were driven away by the military, which re- 
mained faithful to the executive, All the night terror 

Masters of Arts 253 

The greatness of Losada was shown by the fact 
that by noon the next day order was restored, and 
he was still absolute. He issued proclamations 
denying positively that any negotiation of any kind 
had been entered into with England. Sir Stafford 
Vaughn, the pink-cheeked Englishman, also declared 
in placards and in public print that his presence 
there had no international significance. He was a 
traveller without guile. In fact (so he stated), he 
had not even spoken with the president or been in his 
presence since his arrival. 

During this disturbance, White was preparing for 
his homeward voyage in the steamship that was to 
sail within two or three days. About noon, Keogh, 
the restless, took his camera out with the hope of 
speeding the lagging hours. The town was now as 
quiet as if peace had never departed from her perch 
on the red-tiled roofs. 

About the middle of the afternoon, Keogh hurried 
back to the hotel with something decidedly special 
in his air. He retired to the little room where he 
developed his pictures. 

Later on he came out to White on the balcony, 
with a luminous, grim, predatory smile on his face. 

"Do you know what that is?" he asked, holding 
up a 4 X 5 photograph mounted on cardboard. 

254 Cabbages and Kings 

** Snap-shot of a senorlta sitting in the sand — 
alliteration unintentional," guessed White, lazily. 

" Wrong," said Keogh with shining eyes. " It's 
a slung-shot. It's a can of dynamite. It's a gold 
mine. It's a sight-draft on your president man for 
twenty thousand dollars — yes, sir — twenty thou- 
sand this time, and no spoiling the picture. No 
ethics of art in the way. Art! You with your 
smelly little tubes! I've got you skinned to death 
with a kodak. Take a look at that." 

White took the picture in his hand, and gave a 
long whistle. 

" Jove ! " he exclaimed, " but wouldn't that stir up 
a row in town if you let it be seen. How in the world 
did you get it, Billy?" 

" You know that high wall around the president 
man's back garden? I was up there trying to get 
a bird's-eye of the town. I happened to notice a 
chink in the wall where a stone and a lot of plaster 
had slid out. Thinks I, I'll take a peep through to 
see how Mr. President's cabbages are growing. The 
first thing I saw was him and this Sir Englishman 
sitting at a little table about twenty feet away. They 
had the table all spread over with documents, and 
they were hobnobbing over them as thick as two 
pirates. 'Twas a nice comer of the garden, all pri- 

Masters of Arts 255 

vate and shady with palms and orange trees, and 
they had a pail of champagne set by handy in the 
grass. I knew then was the time for me to make my 
big hit in Art. So I raised the machine up to the 
crack, and pressed the button. Just as I did so them 
old boys shook hands on the deal — you see they 
took that way in the picture.*' 

Keogh put on his coat and hat. 

" What are you going to do with it ? " asked 

" Me," said Keogh in a hurt tone, " why, I'm 
going to tie a pink ribbon to It and hang it on the 
what-not, of course. I'm surprised at you. But 
while I'm out you just try to figure out what ginger- 
cake potentate would be most likely to want to buy 
this work of art for his private collection — just to 
keep it out of circulation." 

The sunset was reddening the tops of the cocoanut 
palms when Billy Keogh came back from Casa Mo- 
rena. He nodded to the artist's questioning gaze; 
and lay down on a cot with his hands under the back 
of his head. 

" I saw him. He paid the money like a little man. 
They didn't want to let me in at first. I told 'em it 
was important. Yes, that president man is on the 
plenty-able list. He's got a beautiful business sys- 

256 Cabbages and Kings 

tern about the way he uses his brains. All I had to 
do was to hold up the photograph so he could see it, 
and name the price. He just smiled, and walked 
over to a safe and got the cash. Twenty one-thou- 
sand-dollar brand-new United States Treasury notes 
he laid on the table, like I'd pay out a dollar and a 
quarter. Fine notes, too — they crackled with a 
sound like burning the brush off a ten-acre lot." 

** Let's try the feel of one," said White, curiously. 
** I never saw a thousand-dollar bill." Keogh did 
not immediately respond. 

** Carry," he said, in an absent-minded way, " you 
think a heap of your art, don't you? " 

** More," said White, frankly, " than has been for 
the financial good of myself and my friends." 

** I thought you were a fool the other day," went 
on Keogh, quietly, " and I'm not sure now that you 
wasn't. But if you was, so am I. I've been in some 
funny deals, Carry, but I've always managed to 
scramble fair, and match my brains and capital 
against the other fellow's. But when it comes to — 
well, when you've got the other fellow cinched, and 
the screws on him, and he's got to put up — why, it 
don't strike me as being a man's game. They've got 
a name for it, you know ; it's — confound you, don't 
you understand. A fellow feels — it's something like 

Masters of Arts 2517 

that blamed art of yours — he — well, I tore that 
photograph up and laid the pieces on that stack of 
money and shoved the whole business back across the 
table. * Excuse me, Mr. Losada,' I said, * but I 
guess IVe made a mistake in the price. You get the 
photo for nothing.' Now, Carry, you get out the 
pencil, and we'll do some more figuring. I'd like to 
save enough out of our capital for you to have some 
fried sausages in your joint when you get back to 
New York." 



There is Uttle consecutlveness along the Spanish 
Main. Things happen there intermittently. Even 
Time seems to hang his scythe daily on the branch of 
an orange tree while he takes a siesta and a cigarette. 

After the ineffectual revolt against the administra- 
tion of President Losada, the country settled again 
into quiet toleration of the abuses with which he had 
been charged. In Coralio old political enemies went 
arm-in-arm, lightly eschewing for the time all differ- 
ences of opinion. 

The failure of the art expedition did not stretch the 
cat- footed Keogh upon his back. The ups and downs 
of Fortune made smooth travelling for his nimble 
steps. His blue pencil stub was at work again be- 
fore the smoke of the steamer on which White sailed 
had cleared away from the horizon^ He had but to 
speak a word to Geddie to find his credit negotiable 
for whatever goods he wanted from the store of 

Brannigan & Company. On the same day on which 


Bicky 259 

White arrived in New York Keogh, at the rear of a 
train of five pack mules loaded with hardware and 
cutlery, set his face toward the grim, interior moun- 
tains. There the Indian tribes wash gold dust from 
the auriferous streams ; and when a market is brought 
to them trading is brisk and muy bueno in the Cor- 

In Coralio Time folded his wings and paced wearily 
along his drowsy path. They who had most cheered 
the torpid hours were gone. Clancy had sailed on a 
Spanish barque for Colon, contemplating a cut across 
the isthmus and then a further voyage to end at 
Callao, where the fighting was said to be on. Geddie, 
whose quiet and genial nature had once served to 
mitigate the frequent dull reaction of lotus eating, 
was now a home-man, happy with his bright orchid, 
Paula, and never even dreaming of or regretting the 
unsolved, sealed and monogramed Bottle whose con- 
tents, now inconsiderable, were held safely in the keep- 
ing of the sea. 

Well may the Walrus, most discerning and eclectic 
of beasts, place sealing-wax midway on his pro- 
gramme of topics that fall pertinent and diverting 
upon the ear. 

Atwood was gone — he of the hospitable back 
porch and ingenuous cunning. Dr. Gregg, with his 

260 Cabbages and Kings 

trepanning story smouldering within him, was a 
whiskered volcano, always showing signs of immi- 
nent eruption, and was not to be considered in the 
ranks of those who might contribute to the ameliora- 
tion of ennui. The new consul's note chimed with 
the sad sea waves and the violent tropical greens — 
he had not a bar of Scheherezade or of the Round 
Table in his lute. Goodwin was employed with 
large projects: what time he was loosed from them 
found him at his home, where he loved to be. There- 
fore it will be seen that there was a dearth of fellow- 
ship and entertainment among the foreign contingent 
of Coralio. 

And then Dicky Maloney dropped down from the 
clouds upon the town, and amused it. 

Nobody knew where Dicky Maloney hailed from 
or how he reached Coralio. He appeared there one 
day; and that was all. He afterward said that he 
came on the fruit steamer Thor; but an inspection 
of the Thorns passenger list of that date was found 
to be Maloneyless. Curiosity, however, soon per- 
ished; and Dicky took his place among the odd fish 
cast up by the Caribbean. 

He was an active, devil-may-care, rollicking fellow 
with an engaging gray eye, the most irresistible grin, 
a rather dark or much sunburned complexion, and a 

Bichy 261 

head of the fieriest red hair ever seen in that country. 
Speaking the Spanish language as well as he spoke 
English, and seeming always to have plenty of silver 
in his pockets, it was not long before he was a wel- 
come companion whithersoever he went. He had an 
extreme fondness for vino blancOy and gained the rep- 
utation of being able to drink more of it than any 
three men in town. Everybody called him " Dicky " ; 
everybody cheered up at the sight of him — especially 
the natives, to whom his marvellous red hair and his 
free-and-easy style were a constant delight and envy. 
Wherever you went in the town you would soon see 
Dicky or hear his genial laugh, and find around him a 
group of admirers who appreciated him both for his 
good nature and the white wine he was always so 
ready to buy. 

A considerable amount of speculation was had con- 
cerning the object of his sojourn there, until one day 
he silenced this by opening a small shop for the sale 
of tobacco, dulces and the handiwork of the interior 
Indians — fibre-and-silk-woven goods, deerskin za- 
patos and basketwork of tule reeds. Even then he 
did not change his habits; for he was drinking and 
playing cards half the day and night with the coman- 
dante, the collector of customs, the Jefe Politico and 
other gay dogs among the native officials, 

262 Cabbages and Kings 

One day Dicky saw Fasa, the daughter of 
Madama Ortiz, sitting in the side-door of the Hotel 
des los Estranjeros. He stopped in his tracks, still, 
for the first time in Coralio ; and then he sped, swift 
as a deer, to find Vasquez, a gilded native youth, to 
present him. 

The young men had named Pasa ** La Santita 
Naranjadita.** Naranjadita is a Spanish word for 
a certain colour that you must go to more trouble to 
describe in English. By saying « The Uttle saint, 
tinted the most beautiful-delicate-slightly-Drange- 
golden," you will approximate the description of 
Madama Ortiz's daughter. 

La Madama Ortiz sold rum in addition to other 
liquors. Now, you must know that the rum expiates 
whatever opprobrium attends upon ^he other com- 
modities. For rum-making, mind you, is a govern- 
ment monopoly; and to keep a government dispen- 
sary assures respectability if not preeminence. 
Moreover, the saddest of precisians could find no 
fault with the conduct of the shop. Customers drank 
there in the lowest of spirits and fearsomely, as in the 
shadow of the dead; for Madama's ancient and 
vaunted lineage counteracted even the rum's behest 
to be merry. For, was she not of the Iglesias, who 

Dicky 263 

landed with Pizarro ? And had not her deceased hus- 
band been comisionado de caminos y puentes for the 
district ? 

In the evenings Pasa sat by the window in the room 
next to the one where they drank, and strummed 
dreamily upon her guitar. And then, by twos and 
threes, would come visiting young caballeros and oc- 
cupy the prim line of chairs set against the wall of this 
room. They were there to besiege the heart of " La 
Santita.'* Their method (which is not proof against 
intelligent competition) consisted of expanding the 
chest, looking valorous, and consuming a gross or two 
of cigarettes. Even saints delicately ©ranged pre- 
fer to be wooed differently. 

Dona Pasa would tide over the vast chasms of nico- 
tinized silence wjth music from her guitar, while she 
wondered if the romances she had read about gallant 
and more — more contiguous cavaliers were all lies. 
At somewhat regular intervals Madama would glide 
in from the dispensary with a sort of drought-sug- 
gesting gleam in her eye, and there would be a 
rustling of stiffly-starched white trousers as one of 
the caballeros would propose an adjournment to the 

That Dicky Maloney would, sooner or later, ex- 

ibbages and Kings 

w&s a thing to be foreseen. There 
L Coralio into which his red head had 

ly short space of time after his first 
as there, seated close beside her rock- 
ere were no back-against-the-wall 
theory of wooing. His plan of sub- 
ttack at close range. To carry the 
e concentrated, ardent, eloquent, ir- 
e — that was Dicky's way. 
cended from the proudest Spanish 
Duntry. Moreover, she had had un- 
is. Two years in a New Orleans 
ted her ambitions and fitted her for 
le ordinary maidens of her native 
here she succumbed to the first red- 
ith a glib tongue and a charming 
along and courted her properly, 
ky took her to the little church on the 
zsLy and " Mrs. Maloney " was added 
iistinguished names, 
r fate to sit, with her patient, saintly 
like a bisque Psyche, behind the se- 
r of the little shop, whife Dicky drank 
with his frivolous acquaintances, 
nth their naturally fine instinct, saw 

Bichy 265 

a chance for vivisection, and delicately taunted her 
with his habits. She turned upon them in a beauti- 
ful, steady blaze of sorrowful contempt. 

" You meat-cows," she said, in her level, crystal- 
clear tones ; " you know nothing of a man. Your 
men Sire maromeros. They are fit only to roll cigar- 
ettes in the shade until the sun strikes and shrivels 
them up. They drone in your hammocks and you 
comb their hair and feed them with fresh fruit. My 
man is of no such blood. Let him drink of the wine. 
When he has taken sufficient of it to drown one of 
your flaccitos he will come home to me more of a man 
than one thousand of your pobrecitos. My hair he 
smooths and braids; to me he sings; he himself re- 
moves my zapatoSy and there, there, upon each instep 
leaves a kiss. He holds — Oh, you will never un- 
derstand! Blind ones who have never known a 


Sometimes mysterious things happened at night 
about Dicky's shop. While the front of it was dark, 
in the little room back of it Dicky and a few of his 
friends would sit about a table carrying on some kind 
of very quiet negocios until quite late. Finally he 
would let them out the front door very carefully, and 
go upstairs to his little saint. These visitors were 
generally conspirator-like men with dark clothes and 

266 Cabbages and Kings 

hats. Of course, these dark doings were noticed 
after a while, and talked about. 

Dicky seemed to care nothing at all for the society 
of the alien residents of the town. He avoided Good- 
win, and his skilful escape from the trepanning story 
of Dr. Gregg is still referred to, in Coralio, as a mas- 
terpiece of lightning diplomacy. 

Many letters arrived, addressed to " Mr. Dicky 
Maloney,*' or " Senor Dickee Maloney," to the con- 
siderable pride of Pasa. That so many people should 
desire to write to him only confirmed her own sus- 
picion that the light from his red head shone around 
the world. As to their contents she never felt curi- 
osity. There was a wife for you ! 

The one mistake Dicky made in Coralio was to run 
out of money at the wrong time. Where his money 
came from was a puzzle, for the sales of his shop were 
next to nothing, but that source failed, and at a pe- 
culiarly unfortunate time. It was when the coman- 
dante, Don Senoi^ el Coronel Encamacion Rios, 
looked upon the little saint seated in the shop and 
felt his heart go pitapat. 

The comandantey who was versed in all the intri- 
cate arts of gallantry, first delicately hinted at his 
sentiments by donning his dress uniform and strut- 
ting up and down fiercely before her window. Pasa, 

Bicky 267 

glancing demurely with her saintly eyes, instantly 
perceived his resemblance to her parrot, Chichi, and 
was diverted to the extent of a smile. The coman- 
dante saw the smile, which was not intended for him. 
Convinced of an impression made, he entered the shop, 
confidently, and advanced to open compliment. Pasa 
froze ; he pranced ; she flamed royally ; he was charmed 
to injudicious persistence; she commanded him to 
leave the shop ; he tried to capture her hand, and — 
Dicky entered, smiling broadly, full of white wine and 
the devil. 

He spent five minutes in punishing the comandante 
scientifically and carefully, so that the pain might be 
prolonged as far as possible. At the end of that time 
he pitched the rash wooer out the door upon the 
stones of the street, senseless. 

A barefooted policeman who had bee.i watching 
the affair from across the street blew a whistle. A 
squad of four soldiers came running from the cuartel 
around the comer. When they saw that the offender 
was Dicky, they stopped, and blew more whistles, 
which brought out reenforcements of eight. Deem- 
ing the odds against them sufficiently reduced, the 
military advanced upon the disturber. 

Dicky, being thoroughly imbued with the martial 
spirit, stooped and drew the comandante^ s sword, 

268 Cabbages and Kings 

which was girded about him, and charged his foe. 
He chased the standing army four squares, playfully 
prodding its squealing rear and hacking at its ginger- 
coloured heels. 

But he was not so successful with the civic authori- 
ties. Six muscular, nimble policemen overpowered 
him and conveyed him, triumphantly but warily, to 
jail. " El Diablo Colorado " they dubbed him, and 
derided the militarv for its defeat. 

Dicky, with the rest of the prisoners, could look out 
through the barred door at the grass of the little plaza, 
at a row of orange trees and the red tile roofs and 
'dobe walls of a line of insignificant stores. 

At sunset along a path across this plaza came a 
melancholy procession of sad-faced women bearing 
plantains, cassaba, bread and fruit — each coming 
with food to some wretch behind those bars to whom 
she still clung and furnished the means of life. Twice 
a day — morning and evening — they were permitted 
to come. Water was furnished to her compulsory 
guests by the republic, but no food. 

That evening Dicky's name was called by the 
sentry, and he stepped before the bars of the door. 
There stood his little saint, a black mantilla draped 
about her head and shoulders, her face like glorified 
melancholy, her clear eyes gazing longingly at him as 

Dicky 269 

if they might draw him between the bars to her. She 
brought a chicken, some oranges, dulces and a loaf of 
white bread. A soldier inspected the food, and passed 
it in to Dicky. Pasa spoke calmly, as she always 
did, briefly, in her thrilling, flute-like tones. " An- 
gel of my life," she said, " let it not be long that 
thou art away from me. Thou knowest that life is not 
a thing to be endured with thou not at my side. Tell 
me if I can do aught in this matter. If not, I will 
wait — a little while. I come again in the morn- 

* 99 


Dicky, with his shoes removed so as not to disturb 
his fellow prisoners, tramped the floor of the jail half 
the night condemning his lack of money and the 
cause of it — whatever that might have been. He 
knew very well that money would have bought his re- 
lease at once. 

For two days succeeding Pasa came at the ap- 
pointed times and brought him food. He eagerly in- 
quired each time if a letter or package had come for 
him, and she mournfully shook her head. 

On the morning of the third day she brought only 
a small loaf of bread. There were dark circles under 
her eyes. She seemed as calm as ever. 

" By jingo," said Dicky, who seemed to speak in 
English or Spanish as the whim seized him, " this is 

270 Cabbages and Kings 

dry provender, muchachita. Is this the best you can 
dig up for a fellow? " 

Fasa looked at him as a mother looks at a beloved 
but capricious babe. 

" Think better of it,'' she said, In a low voice ; 
** since for the next meal there will be nothing. The 
last centavo Is spent." She pressed closer against 
the grating. 

" Sell the goods in the shop — take anything for 

** Have I not tried? Did I not offer them for one- 
tenth their cost? Not even one peso would any one 
give. There Is not one real In this town to assist 
Dickee Malonee." 

Dick clenched his teeth grimly. ** That's the 
comandante^'* he growled. ** He's responsible for 
that sentiment. Wait, oh, wait till the cards are all 

Fasa lowered her voice to almost a whisper. ** And, 
listen, heart of my heart," she said, " I have en- 
deavoured to be brave, but I cannot live without thee. 
Three days now — " 

Dicky caught a faint gleam of steel from the folds 
of her mantilla. For once she looked In his face and 
saw it without a smile, stem, menacing and purpose- 
ful. Then he suddenly raised his hand and his smile 

Dicky 271 

came back like a gleam of sunshine. The hoarse sig- 
nal of an Incoming steamer's siren sounded in the har- 
bour. Dicky called to the sentry who was pacing 
before the door: " What steamer comes? " 

" The Catarina,'' 

"Of the Vesuvius line?" 

" Without doubt, of that line." 

" Go you, picarillay** said Dicky joyously to Pasa, 
" to the American consul. Tell him I wish to speak 
with him. See that he comes at once. And look vou ! 
let me see a different look in those eyes, for I promise 
your head shall rest upon this arm to-night." 

It was an hour before the consul came. He held 
his green umbrella under his arm, and mopped his 
forehead impatiently. 

" Now, see here, Maloney," he began, captiously, 
" you fellows seem to think you can cut up any kind 
of row, and expect me to pull you out of it. I'm 
neither the War Department nor a gold mine. This 
country has its laws, you know, and there's one 
against pounding the senses out of the regular army. 
You Irish are forever getting into trouble. I don't see 
what I can do. Anything like tobacco, now, to make 
you comfortable — or newspapers — " 

" Son of Eli," interrupted Dicky, gravely, " you 
haven't changed an iota. That is almost a duplicate 

272 Cabbages and Kings 

of the speech you made when old Koen's donkeys and 
geese got into the chapel loft, and the culprits wanted 
to hide in your room." 

" Oh, heavens ! " exclaimed the consul, hurriedly 
adjusting his spectacles. "Are you a Yale man, 
too? Were you in that crowd? I don't seem to re- 
member any one with red — any one named Maloney. 
Such a lot of college men seem to have misused their 
advantages. One of the best mathematicians of the 
class of '91 is selling lottery tickets in Belize. A 
Cornell man dropped off here last month. He was 
second steward on a guano boat. I'll write to the de- 
partment if you like, Maloney. Or if there's any to- 
bacco, or newspa — ^" 

" There's nothing," interrupted Dicky, shortly, 
" but this. You go tell the captain of the Catarina 
that Dicky Maloney wants to see him as soon as 
he can conveniently come. Tell him where I am. 
Hurry. That's aU." 

The consul, glad to be let off so easily, hurried 
away. The captain of the Catarina^ a stout man, 
Sicilian bom, soon appeared, shoving, with little cere- 
mony, through the guards to the jail door. The 
Vesuvius Fruit Company had a habit of doing things 
that way in Anchuria. 

** I am exceeding sorry — exceeding sorry," said 

Bicky 273 

the captain, " to see this occur. I place myself at 
your service, Mr. Maloney. What you need shall 
be furnished. Whatever you say shall be done." 

Dicky looked at him unsmlllngly. His red hair 
could not detract from his attitude of severe dignity 
as he stood, tall and calm, with his now grim mouth 
forming a horizontal line. 

" Captain De Lucco, I believe I still have funds In 
the hands of your company — ample and personal 
funds. I ordered a remittance last week. The money 
has not arrived. You know what is needed in this 
game. Money and money and more money. Why 
has it not been sent ? " 

'* By the Cristobal,^^ replied De Lucco, gesticulat- 
ing, " it was despatched. Where Is the Cristobal? 
Off Cape Antonio I spoke her with a broken shaft. 
A tramp coaster was towing her back to New Orleans. 
I brought money ashore thinking your need for it 
might not withstand delay. In this envelope is one 
thousand dollars. There is more if you need it, Mr. 

" For the present It will suffice," said Dicky, soft- 
ening as he crinkled the envelope and looked down at 
the half-Inch thickness of smooth, dingy bills. 

" The long green [ ''* he said, gently, with a new 

274 Cabbages and Kings 

reverence in his gaze. " Is there anything it will not 
buy, Captain ? '* 

" I had three friends," replied De Lucco, who was 
a bit of a philosopher, " who had money. One of 
them speculated in stocks and made ten million; an- 
other is in heaven, and the third married a poor girl 
whom he loved." 

" The answer, then," said Dicky, " is held by the 
Almighty, Wall Street and Cupid. So, the question 

" This," queried the captain, including Dicky's 
surroundings in a significant gesture of his hand, ^' is 
it — it is not — it is not connected with the business 
of your little shop? There is no failure in your 
plans ? " 

" No, no," said Dicky. " This is merely the result 
of a little private affair of mine, a digression from 
the regular line of business. They say for a complete 
life a man must know poverty, love and war. But 
they don't go well together, capitdn mio. No ; there 
is no failure in my business. The little shop is doing 
very well." 

\Mien the captain had departed Dicky called the 
sergeant of the jail squad and asked: 

" Am I preso by the military or by the civil au- 

Dicky 275 

** Surely there is no martial law In effect now. 



Bueno. Now go or send to the alcalde, the Juez 
de la Paz and the Jefe de los Policios, Tell them I 
am prepared at once to satisfy the demands of justice. 
A folded bill of the " long green " slid Into the ser- 
geant's hand. 

Then Dicky's smile came back again, for he knew 
that the hours of his captivity were numbered ; and he 
hummed; in time with the sentry's tread: 


TheyWe hanging men and women now. 
For lacking of the green,** 

So, that night Dicky sat by the window of the room 
over his shop and his little saint sat close by, working 
at something silken and dainty. Dicky was thought- 
ful and grave. His red hair was in an unusual state 
of disorder. Pasa's fingers often ached to smooth 
and arrange it, but Dicky would never allow it. He 
was poring, to-night, over a great litter of maps and 
books and papers on his table until that perpendic- 
ular line came between his brows that always dis- 
tressed Pasa. Presently she went and brought his 
hat, and stood with it until he looked up, inquiringly. 

" It is sad for you here," she explained. " Go out 

276 Cabbages and Kings 

and drink vino bianco. Come back when you get that 
smile you used to wear. That is what I wish to 

Dicky laughed and threw down his papers. " The 
vino bianco stage is past. It has served its turn. 
Perhaps, after all, there was less entered my mouth 
and more my ears than people thought. But, there 
will be no more maps or frowns to-night, I promise 
you that. Come." 

They sat upon a reed siUeta at the window and 
watched the quivering gleams from the lights of the 
Catarina reflected in the harbour. 

Presently Pasa rippled out one of her infrequent 
chirrups of audible laughter. 

" I was thinking," she began, anticipating Dicky's 
question, " of the foolish things girls have in their 
minds. Because I went to school in the States I used 
to have ambitions.' Nothing less than to be the pres- 
ident's wife would satisfy me. And, look, thou red 
picaroon, to what obscure fate thou hast stolen me ! " 

" Don't give up hope," said Dicky, smiling. 
** More than one Irishman has been the ruler of a 
South American country. There was a dictator of 
Chili named O'Higgins. Why not a President Ma- 
loney, of Anchuria? Say the word, santita miay and 
we'll make the race." 

£)icky 277 

" No, no, no, thou red-haired, reckless one ! *' 
sighed Pasa ; " I am content '* — she laid her head 
against his arm — " here." 


It has been indicated that disaffection, followed the 
elevation of Losada to the presidency. This feeling 
continued to grow. Throughout the entire republic 
there seemed to be a spirit of silent, sulle^ discontent. 
Even the old Liberal party to which Goodwin, 
Zavalla and other patriots had lent their aid was dis- 
appointed. Losada had failed to become a popular 
idol. Fresh taxes, fresh import duties and, more 
than all, his tolerance of the outrageous oppression 
of citizens by the military had rendered him the most 
obnoxious president since the despicable Alforan. 
The majority of his own cabinet were out of sympathy 
with him. The army, which he had courted by giving 
it license to tyrannize, had been his main, and thus 
far adequate support. 

But the most impolitic of the administration's 
moves had been when it antagonized the Vesuvius 

Fruit Company, an organization plying twelve steam- 


Rouge et Noir 279 

ers and with a cash capital somewhat larger than An- 
churia's surplus and debt combined. 

Reasonably, an established concern like the Vesu- 
vius would become irritated at having a small, retail 
republic with no rating at all attempt to squeeze it. 
So, when the government proxies applied for a sub- 
sidy they encountered a polite refusal. The presi- 
dent at once retaliated by clapping an export duty 
of one real per bunch on bananas — a thing unprece- 
dented in fruit-growing countries. The Vesuvius 
Company had invested large sums in wharves and 
plantations along the Anchurian coast, their agents 
had erected fine homes in the towns where they had 
their headquarters, and heretofore had worked with 
the republic in good-will and with advantage to both. 
It would lose an immense sum if compelled to move 
out. The selling price of bananas from Vera Cruz 
to Trinidad .was three reals per bunch. This new 
duty of one real would have ruined the fruit growers 
in Anchuria and have seriously discommoded the 
Vesuvius Company had it declined to pay it. But 
for some reason, the Vesuvius continued to buy An- 
churian fruit, paying four reals for it ; and not suffer- 
ing the growers to bear the loss. 

This apparent victory deceived His Excellency; 

280 Cabbages and Kings 

and he began to hunger for more of it. He sent an 
emissary to request a conference with a represent- 
ative of the fruit company. The V^uvius sent Mr. 
Franzoni, a little, stout, cheerful man, always cool, 
and whistling airs from Verdi's operas. Senor Espi- 
rition, of the office of the Minister of Finance, at- 
tempted the sandbagging in behalf of Anchuria. The 
meeting took place in the cabin of the Salvadory of 
the Vesuvius line. 

Seiior Espirition opened negotiations by announc- 
ing that the government contemplated the building 
of a railroad to skirt the alluvial coast lands. After 
touching upon the benefits such a road would confer 
upon the interests of the Vesuvius, he reached the 
definite suggestion that a contribution to the road's 
expenses of, say, fifty thousand pesos would not be 
more than an equivalent to benefits received. 

Mr. Franzoni denied that his company would re- 
ceive any benefits from a contemplated road. As 
its representative he must decline to contribute fifty 
thousand pesos. But he would assume the respon- 
sibility of offering twenty-five. 

Did Seiior Espirition understand Seiior Franzoni 
to mean twenty-five thousand pesos?. 

By no means. Twenty-five pesos. And in silver; 
not in gold. 

Rouge et Noir 281 

" Your offer insults my government," cried Seiior 
Espirition, rising, with indignation. 

" Then," said Mr. Franzoni, in warning tone, " we 
will change it.'* 

The offer was never changed. Could Mr. Fran- 
zoni have meant the government? 

This was the state of affairs in Anchuria when 
the winter season opened at Coralio at the end of the 
second year of Losada's administration. So, when 
the government and society made its annual exodus 
to the seashore it was evident that the presidential 
advent would not be celebrated by unlimited rejoic- 
ing. The tenth of November was the day set for the 
entrance into Coralio of the gay company from the 
capital. A narrow-gauge railroad runs twenty miles 
into the interior from Solitas. The government 
party travels by carriage from San Mateo to this 
road's terminal point, and proceeds by train to Soli- 
tas. From here they march in grand procession to 
Coralio where, on the day of their coming, festivities 
and ceremonies abound. But this season saw an 
ominous dawning of the tenth of November. 

Although the rainy season was over, the day seemed 
to hark back to reeking June. A fine drizzle of rain 
fell all during the forenoon. The procession entered 
Coralio amid a strange silence. 

282 Cabbages and Kings 

President Losada was an elderly man, grizzly 
bearded, with a considerable ratio of Indian blood 
revealed in his cinnamon complexion. His carriage 
headed the procession, surrounded and guarded by 
Captain Cruz and his famous troop of one hundred 
light horse " El Ciento HuUando.** Colonel Rocas 
followed, with a regiment of the regular army. 

The president's sharp, beady eyes glanced about 
him for the expected demonstration of welcome; but 
he faced a stolid, indifferent array of citizens. Sight- 
seers the Anchurians are by birth and habit, and they 
turned out to their last able-bodied unit to witness 
the scene; but thev maintained an accusive silence. 
They crowded the streets to the very wheel ruts ; they 
covered the red tile roofs to the eaves, but there was 
never a " viva *' from them. No wreaths of palm 
and lemon branches or gorgeous strings of paper 
roses hung from the windows and balconies as was 
the custom. There was an apathy, a dull, dissent- 
ing disapprobation, that was the more ominous be- 
cause it puzzled. No one feared an outburst, a re- 
volt of the discontents, for they had no leader. The 
president and those loyal t^ him had never even heard 
whispered a name among ^hem capable of crystal- 
lizing the dissatisfaction into opposition. No, there 

Rouge et Noir 283 

could be no danger. The people always procured a 
new idol before they destroyed an old one. 

At length, after a prodigious galloping and curvet- 
ting of red-sashed majors, gold-laccd colonels and 
epauletted generals, the procession formed for its an- 
nual progress down the Calle Grande to the Casa 
Morena, where the ceremony of welcome to the visit- 
ing president always took place. 

The Swiss band led the line of march. After it 
pranced the local comandanie^ mounted, and a de- 
tachment of his troops. Next came a carriage with 
four members of the cabinet, conspicuous among 
them the Minister of War, old General Pilar, with his 
white moustache and his soldierly bearing. Then 
the president's vehicle, containing also the Ministers 
of Finance and State; and surrounded by Captain 
Cruz's light horse formed in a close double file of 
fours. Following them, the rest of the officials of 
state, the judges and distinguished military and social 
ornaments of public and private life. 

As the band struck up, and the movement began, 
like a bird of ill-omen the Valhalla^ the swiftest steam- 
ship of the Vesuvius line, glided into the harbour in 
plain view of the president and his train. Of course, 
there was nothing menacing about its arrival — a 
business firm does not go to war with a nation — but 

284 Cabbages and Kings 

it reminded Senor Espirition and others in those car- 
riages that the Vesuvius Fruit Company was un- 
doubtedly carrying something up its sleeve for them. 

By the time the van of the procession had reached 
the government building, Captain Cronin, of the 
Valhalla, and Mr. Vincenti, member of the Vesuvius 
Company, had landed and were pushing their way, 
bluff, hearty and nonchalant, through the crowd on 
the narrow sidewalk. Clad in white linen, big, 
debonair, with an air of good-humoured authority, 
they made conspicuous figures among the dark mass 
of unimposing Anchurians, as they penetrated to 
within a few yards of the steps of the Casa Morena. 
Looking easily above the heads of the crowd, they 
perceived another that towered above the undersized 
natives. It was the fiery poll of Djcky Maloney 
against the wall close by the lower step; and his 
broad, seductive grin showed that he recognized their 

Dicky had attired himself becomingly for the fes- 
tive occasion in a well-fitting black suit. Pasa was 
close by his side, her head covered with the ubiqui- 
tous black mantilla. 

Mr. Vincenti looked at her attentively. 

" Botticelli's Madonna," he remarked, gravely. " I 
wonder when she got into the game. I don't like his 

Rouge et Noir 285 

getting tangled with the women. I hoped he would 
keep away from them." 

Captain Cronln's laugh almost drew attention from 
the parade. 

" With that head of hair ! Keep away from the 
women! And a Maloney! Hasn't he got a license? 
But, nonsense aside, what do you think of the pros- 
pects ? It's a species of filibustering out of my line." 

Vincenti glanced again at Dicky's head and smiled. 

" Rouge et noir,'' he said. " There you have it. 
Make your play, gentlemen. Our money is on the 

" The lad's game," said Cronin, with a commend- 
ing look at the tall, easy figure by the steps. " But 
'tis all like fly-by-night theatricals to me. The talk's 
bigger than the stage ; there's a smell of gasoline in 
the air, and they're their own audience and scene- 

They ceased talking, for General Pilar had de- 
scended from the first carriage and had taken his 
stand upon the top step of Casa Morena. As the 
oldest member of the cabinet, custom had decreed 
that he should make the address of welcome, present- 
ing the Jkeys of the official residence to the president 
at its close. 

General Pilar was one of the most distinguished 

286 Cabbages and Kings 

citizens of the republic. Hero of three wars and in- 
numerable revolutions, he was an honoured guest at 
European courts and camps. An eloquent speaker 
and a friend to the people, he represented the highest 
type of the Anchurians. 

Holding in his hand the gilt keys of Casa Morena, 
he began his address in a historical form, touching 
upon each administration and the advance of civili- 
zation and prosperity from the first dim striving after 
liberty down to present times. Arriving at the 
regime of President Losada, at which point, accord- 
ing to precedent, he should have delivered a eulogy 
upon its wise conduct and the happiness of the peo- 
ple, General Pilar paused. Then he silently held up 
the bunch of keys high above his head, with his eyes 
closely regarding it. The ribbon with which they 
were bound fluttered in the breeze. 

" It still blows," cried the speaker, exultantly. 
** Citizens of Anchuria, give thanks to the saints this 
night that our air is still free." 

Thus disposing of Losada's administration, he 
abruptly reverted to that of Olivarra, Anchuria's 
most popular ruler. Olivarra had been assassinated 
nine years before while in the prime of life and useful- 
ness. A faction of the Liberal party led by Losada 
himself had been accused of the deed. Whether 

Rouge et Noir 287 

guilty or not, it was eight years before the ambitious 
and scheming Losada had gained his goal. 

Upon this theme General Pilar's eloquence was 
loosed. He drew the picture of the beneficent Oli- 
varra with a loving hand. He reminded the people 
of the peace, the security and the happiness they 
had enjoyed during that period. He recalled in 
vivid detail and with significant contrast the last 
winter sojourn of President Olivarra in Coralio, when 
his appearance at their fiestas was the signal for thun- 
dering vivas of love and approbation. 

The first public expression of sentiment from the 
people that day followed. A low, sustained murmur 
went among them like the surf rolling along the shore. 

" Ten dollars to a dinner at the Saint Charles," 
remarked Mr. Vincenti, " that rouge wins." 

" I never bet against my own interests," said Cap- 
tain Cronin, lighting a cigar. " Long-winded old boy, 
for his age. What's he talking about.'' " 

" My Spanish," replied Vincenti, " runs about ten 
words to the minute; his is something around two 
hundred. Whatever he's saying, he's getting them 
warmed up." 

" Friends and brothers," General Pilar was saying, 
" could I reach out my hand this day across the 
lamentable silence of the grave to Olivarra ' the 

288 Cabbages and Kings 

Good,' to the ruler who was one of you, whose tears 
fell when you sorrowed, and whose smile followed 
your joy — I would bring him back to you, but — 
Olivarra is dead — dead at the hands of a craven 
assassin ! " 

The speaker turned and gazed boldly into the car- 
riage of the president. His arm remained extended 
aloft as if to sustain his peroration. The president 
was listening, aghast, at this remarkable address of 
welcome. He was sunk back upon his seat, trem- 
bling with rage and dumb surprise, his dark hands 
tightly gripping the carriage cushions. 

Half * rising, he extended one arm toward the 
speaker, and shouted a harsh command at Captain 
Cruz. The leader of the " Flying Hundred " sat his 
horse, immovable, with folded arms, giving no sign 
of having heard. Losada sank back again, his dark 
features distinctly paling. 

" Who says that Olivarra is dead ? '* suddenly cried 
the speaker, his voice, old as he was, sounding like 
a battle trumpet. " His body lies in the grave, but 
to the people he loved he has bequeathed his spirit — 
yes, more — his learning, his courage, his kindness 
— yes, more — his youth, his image — people of 
Anchuria, have you forgotten Ramon, the son of 
Olivarra? " 

Rouge et Noir 289 

Cronin and Vincenti, watching closely, saw Dicky 
Maloney suddenly raise his hat, tear oflF his shock of 
red hair, leap up the steps and stand at the side of 
General Pilar. The Minister of War laid his arm 
across the young man's shoulders. All who had 
known President Olivarra saw again his same lion- 
like pose, the same frank, undaunted expression, the 
same high forehead with the peculiar line of the 
clustering, crisp black hair. 

General Pilar was an experienced orator. He 
seized the moment of breathless silence that preceded 
the storm. 

" Citizens of Anchuria," he trumpeted, holding 
aloft the keys to Casa Morena, " I am here to deliver 
these keys — the keys to your homes and liberty — 
to your chosen president. Shall I deliver them to 
Enrico Olivarra's assassin, or to his son ? " 

" Olivarra ! Olivarra ! " the crowd shrieked and 
howled. All vociferated the magic name — men, 
women, children and the parrots. 

And the enthusiasm was not confined to the blood 
of the plebs. Colonel Rocas ascended the steps and 
laid his sword theatrically at young Ramon Olivarra's 
feet. Four members of the cabinet embraced him. 
Captain Cruz gave a command, and twenty of El 
Ciento Huilando dismounted and arranged them- 

290 Cabbages and Kings 

selves in a cordon about the steps of Casa Morena. 

But Ramon Ollvarra seized that moment to prove 
himself a bom genius and politician. He waved 
those soldiers aside, and descended the steps to the 
street. There, without losing his dignity or the dis- 
tinguished elegance that the loss of his red hair 
brought him, he took the proletariat to his bosom — 
the barefooted, the dirty, Indians, Caribs, babies, beg- 
gars, old, young, saints, soldiers and sinners — he 
missed none of them. 

While this act of the drama was being presented, 
the scene shifters had been busy at the duties that 
had been assigned to them. Two of Cruz's dragoons 
had seized the bridle reins of Losada's horses ; others 
formed a close guard around the carriage; and they 
galloped off with the tyrant and his two unpopular 
Ministers. No doubt a place had been prepared for 
them. There are a number of well-barred stone 
apartments in Coralio. 

" Rouge wins," said Mr. Vincenti, calmly light- 
ing another cigar. 

Captain Cronin had been intently watching the 
vicinity of the stone steps for some time. 

" Good boy ! " he exclaimed suddenly, as if relieved. 
" I wondered if he was going to forget his Kathleen 

Rouge et Noir 291 

Young OUvarra had reascended the steps and 
spoken a few words to General Pilar. Then that dis- 
tinguished veteran descended to the ground and ap- 
proached Pasa, who still stood, wonder-eyed, where 
Dicky had left her. With his plumed hat in his 
hand, and his medals and decorations shining on his 
breast, the general spoke to her and gave her his arm, 
and they went up the stone steps of the Casa Morena 
together. And then Ramon Olivarra stepped forward 
and took both her hands before all the people. 

And while the cheering was breaking out afresh 
everywhere. Captain Cronin and Mr. Vincenti turned 
and walked back toward the shore where the gig was 
waiting for them. 

" There'll be another * presidente proclamada ' in 
the morning," said Mr. Vincenti, musingly. " As a 
rule they are not as reliable as the elected ones, but 
this youngster seems to have some good stuff in him. 
He planned and manoeuvred the entire campaign. 
Olivarra's widow, you know, was wealthy. After her 
husband was assassinated she went to the States, and 
educated her son at Yale. The Vesuvius Company 
hunted him up, and backed him in the little game." 

** It's a glorious thing," said Cronin, half jestingly, 
'' to be able to discharge a government, and insert one 
of your own choosing, in these days." 

292 Cabbages and Kings 

" Oh, it IS only a matter of business," said Vincenti, 
stopping and offering the stump of his cigar to a 
monkey that swung down from a lime tree ; " and that 
is what moves the world of to-day. That extra real 
on the price of bananas had to go. We took the 
shortest way of removing it." 


1 HERE remains three duties to be performed be- 
fore the curtain falls upon the patched comedy. Two 
have been promised : the third in no less obligatory. 

It was set forth in the programme of this tropic 
vaudeville that it would be made known why Shorty 
O'Day, of the Columbia Detective Agency, lost his 
position. Also that Smith should come again to tell 
us what mystery he followed that night on the shores 
of Anchuria when he strewed so many cigar stumps 
around the cocoanut palm during his lonely night 
vigil on the beach. These things were promised ; but 
a bigger thing yet remains to be accomplished — the 
clearing up of a seeming wrong that has been done 
according to the array of chronicled facts (truthfully 
set forth) that have been presented. And one voice, 
speaking, shall do these three things. 

Two men sat on a stringer of a North River pier in 
the City of New York. A steamer from the tropics 

had begun to unload bananas and oranges on the pier. 


294 Cabbages and Kings 

Now and then a banana or two would fall from an 
overripe bunch, and one of the two men would sham- 
ble forward, seize the fruit and return to share it with 
his companion. 

One of the men was in the ultimate stage of deteri- 
oration. As far as rain and wind and sun could 
wreck the garments he wore, it had been done. In 
his person the ravages of drink were as plainly visible. 
And yet, upon his high-bridged, rubicund nose was 
jauntily perched a pair of shining and flawless gold- 
rimmed glasses. 

The other man was not so far gone upon the de- 
scending Highway of the Incompetents. Truly, the 
flower of his manhood had gone to seed — seed that, 
perhaps, no soil might sprout. But there were still 
cross-cuts along where he travelled through which he 
might yet regain the pathway of usefulness without 
disturbing the slumbering Miracles. This man was 
short and compactly built. He had an oblique, dead 
eye, like that of a sting-ray, and the moustache of a 
cocktail mixer. We know the eye and the moustache ; 
we know that Smith of the luxurious yacht, the gor- 
geous raiment, the mysterious mission, the magic dis- 
appearance, has come again, though shorn of the ac- 
cessories of his former state. 

Two Recalls 295 

At his third banana, the man with the nose glasses 
spat it from him with a shudder. 

" Deuce take all fruit ! " he remarked, in a patrician 
tone of disgust. " I lived for two years where these 
things grow. The memory of their taste lingers with 
you. The oranges are not so bad. Just see if you 
can gather a couple of them, O'Day, when the next 
broken crate comes up." 

*' Did you live down with the monkeys ? " asked 
the other, made tepidly garrulous by the sunshine and 
the alleviating meal of juicy fruit. " I was down 
there, once myself. But only for a few hours. That 
was when I was with the Columbia Detective Agency. 
The monkey people did me up. I'd have my job 
yet if it hadn't been for them. I'll tell you about 

" One day the chief sent a note around to the office 
that read : * Send O'Day here at once for a big piece 
of business.' I was the crack detective of the agency 
at that time. They always handed me the big jobs. 
The address the chief wrote from was down in the 
Wall Street district. 

" When I got there I found him in a private office 
with a lot of directors who were looking pretty fuzzy. 
They stated the case. The president of the Republic 

296 Cabbages and Kings 

Insurance Company had skipped with about a tenth 
of a million dollars in cash. The directors wanted 
him back pretty bad, but they wanted the money 
worse. They said they needed it. They had traced 
the old gent's movements to where he boarded a 
tramp fruit steamer bound for South America that 
same morning with his daughter and a big gripsack 

— all the family he had. 

" One of the directors had his steam yacht coaled 
and with steam up, ready for a trip ; and he turned her 
over to me, cart blongsh. In four hours I was on 
board of her, and hot on the trail of the fruit tub. I 
had a pretty good idea where old Wahrfield — that 
was his name, J. Churchill Wahrfield — would head 
for. At that time we had a treaty with about every 
foreign country except Belgium and that banana re- 
public, Anchuria. There wasn't a photo of old Wahr- 
field to be had in New York — he had been foxy there 

— but I had his d^cription. And besides, the lady 
with him would be a dead-give-away anywhere. She 
was one of the high-flyers in Society — not the kind 
that have their pictures in the Sunday papers — but 
the real sort that open chrysanthemum shows and 
christen battleships. 

" Well, sir, we never got a sight of that fruit tub 
on the road. The ocean is a pretty big place; and 

Two Recalls 297 

I guess we took diflferent paths across it. But we 
kept going toward this Anchuria, where the fruiter 
was bound for. 

" We struck the monkey coast one afternoon about 
four. There was a ratty-looking steamer off shore 
taking on bananas. The monkeys were loading her 
up with big barges. It might be the one the old man 
had taken, and it might not. I went ashore to look 
around. The scenery was pretty good. I never saw 
any finer on the New York stage. I struck an Ameri- 
can on shore, a big, cool chap, standing around with 
the monkeys. He showed me the consul's office. The 
consul was a nice young fellow. He said the fruiter 
was the Karlsefin, running generally to New Orleans, 
but took her last cargo to New York. Then I was 
sure my people were on board, although everybody 
told me that no passengers had landed. I didn't 
think they would land until after dark, for they might 
have been shy about it on account of seeing that 
yacht of mine hanging around. So, all I had to do 
was to wait and nab 'em when they came ashore. I 
couldn't arrest old Wahrfield without extradition 
papers, but my play was to get the cash. They gen- 
erally give up if you strike 'em when they're tired and 
rattled and short on nerve. 

" After dark I sat under a cocoanut tree on the 

298 Cabbages and Kings 

beach for a while, and then I walked around and In- 
vestigated that town some, and it was enough to give 
you the lions. If a man could stay in New York and 
be honest, he'd better do it than to hit that monkey 
town with a million. 

" Dinky little mud houses ; grass over your shoe 
tops in the streets; ladies in low-neck-and-short- 
sleeves walking around smoking cigars; tree frogs 
rattling like a hose cart going to a ten blow; big 
mountains dropping gravel in the back yards, and the 
sea licking the paint off in front — no, sir — a man 
had better be in God's country living on free lunch 
than there. 

" The main street ran along the beach, and I walked 
down it, and then turned up a kind of lane where the 
houses were made of poles and straw. I wanted to 
see what the monkeys did when they weren't climbing 
cocoanut trees. The very first shack I looked in I 
saw my people. They must have come ashore while 
I was promenading. A man about fifty, smooth face, 
heavy eyebrows, dressed in black broadcloth, looking 
like he was just about to say, ^ Can any little boy in 
the Sunday school answer that ? ' He was freezing 
on to a grip that weighed like a dozen gold bricks, 
and a swell girl — a regular peach, with a Fifth Ave- 
nue cut — was sitting on a wooden chair. An old 

Two Recalls 299 

black woman was fixing some coflFee and beans on a 
table. The light they had come from a lantern hung 
on a nail. I went and stood in the door, and they 
looked at me, and I said : 

" * Mr. Wahrfield, you are my prisoner. I hope, 
for the lady's sake, you will take the matter sensibly. 
You know why I want you.' 

" * Who are you ? ' says the old gent. 

" * O'Day,' says I, ' of the Columbia Detective 
Agency. And now, sir, let me give you a piece of 
good advice. You go back and take your medicine 
like a man. Hand 'em back the boodle; and maybe 
they'll let you oflF light. Go back easy, and I'll put 
in a word for you. I'll give you five minutes to de- 
cide.' I pulled out my watch and waited. 

" Then the young lady chipped in. She was one 
of the genuine high-steppers. You could tell by the 
way her clothes fit and the style she had that Fifth 
Avenue was made for her. 

" ' Come inside,' she says. * Don't stand in the 
door and disturb the whole street with that suit of 
clothes. Now, what is it you want ? ' 

" ' Three minutes gone,' I said. ' I'll tell you 
again while the other two tick off. 

" * You'll admit being the president of the Repub- 
lic, won't you? ' 

800 Cabbages and Kings 

" * I am,' says he. 

" * Well, then,' says I, ^ it ought to be plain to you. 
Wanted, in New York, J. Churchill Wahrfield, presi- 
dent of the Republic Insurance Company. 

** * Also the funds belonging to said company, now 
in that grip, in the unlawful possession of said J. 
Churchill Wahrfield.' 

" ^ Oh-h-h-hJ ' says the young lady, as if she was 
thinking, * you want to take us back to New York? ' 

" * To take Mr. Wahrfield. There's no charge 
against you, miss. There'll be no objection, of 
course, to your returning with your father.' 

" Of a sudden the girl gave a tiny scream and 
grabbed the old boy around the neck. ' Oh, father, 
father ! ' she says, kind of contralto, * can this be 
true? Have you taken money that is not yours? 
Speak, father ! ' It made you shiver to hear the 
tremolo stop she put on her voice. 

" The old boy looked pretty bughouse when she 
first grappled him, but she went on, whispering in his 
ear and patting his off shoulder till he stood still, but 
sweating a little. 

" She got him to one side and they talked together 
a minute, and then he put on some gold eyeglasses 
and walked up and handed me the grip. 

^^ ^ Mr. Detective,' he says, talking a little broken. 

Two Recalls 801 

* I conclude to return with you. I have finished to 
discover that life on this desolate and displeased coast 
would be worse than to die, itself. I will go back and 
hurl myself upon the mercy of the Republic Com- 
pany. Have you brought a sheep? ' 

" ^ Sheep ! ' says I ; * I haven't a single — ' 

" ^ Ship,' cut in the young lady. * Don't get funny. 
Father is of German birth, and doesn't speak perfect 
English. How did you come ? ' 

" The girl was all broke up. She had a handker- 
chief to her face, and kept saying every little bit, * Oh, 
father, father ! ' She walked up to me and laid her 
lily-white hand on the clothes that had pained her at 
first. I smelt a million violets. She was a lulu. I 
told her I came in a private yacht. 

" * Mr. O'Day,' she says. ^ Oh, take us away 
from this horrid country at once. Can you! Will 
you ! Say you will.' 

" ' I'll try,' I said, concealing the fact that I was 
<lying to get them on salt water before they could 
change their mind. 

" One thing they both kicked against was going 
through the town to the boat landing. Said they 
dreaded publicity, and now that they were going to 
return, they had a hope that the thing might yet be 
kept out of the papers. They swore they wouldn't 

802 Cabbages and Kings 

go unless 1 got them out to the yacht without any one 
knowing it, so I agreed to humour them, 

" The sailors who rowed me ashore were playing 
billiards in a bar-room near the water, waiting for or- 
ders, and I proposed to have them take the boat down 
the beach half a mile or so, and take us up there. 
How to get them word was the question, for I couldn't 
leave the grip with the prisoner, and I couldn't take 
it with me, not knowing but what the monkeys might 
stick me up. 

" The young lady says the old coloured woman 
would take them a note. I sat down and wrote it, and 
gave it to the dame with plain directions what to do, 
and she grins like a baboon and shakes her head. 

" Then Mr. Wahrfield handed her a string of for- 
eign dialect, and she nods her head and says, ^ See, 
sefior,' maybe fifty times, and lights out with the note. 

** * Old Augusta only understands Grerman,' said 
Miss Wahrfield, smiling at me. * We stopped in her 
house to ask where we could find lodging, and she in- 
sisted upon our having coffee. She tells us she was 
raised in a German family in San Domingo.' 

** * Very likely,' I said. ^ But you can search me 
for German words, except nix verstay and noch einst, 
I would have called that " See, senor " French, 
though, on a gamble.' 

Two Recalls 303 

*^ Well, we three made a sneak around the edge of 
town so as not to be seen. We got tangled in vines 
and ferns and the banana bushes and tropical scenery 
a good deal. The monkey suburbs was as wild as 
places in Central Park. We came out on the beach a 
good half mile below. A brown chap was lying 
asleep under a cocoanut tree, with a ten-foot musket 
beside him. Mr. Wahrfield takes up the gun and 
pitches it into the sea. * The coast is guarded,' he 
says. * Rebellion and plots ripen like fruit.' He 
pointed to the sleeping man, who never stirred. 
* Thus,' he says, ^ they perform trusts. Children ! ' 

" I saw our boat coming, and I struck a match and 
lit a piece of newspaper to show them where we were. 
In thirty minutes we were on board the yacht. 

" The first thing, Mr. Wahrfield and his daughter 
and I took the grip into the owner's cabin, opened it 
up, and took an inventory. There was one hundred 
and five thousand dollars, United States treasury 
notes in it, besides a lot of diamond jewelry and a 
couple of hundred Havana cigars. I gave the old 
man the cigars and a receipt for the rest of the lot, as 
agent for the company, and locked the stuff up in my 
private quarters. 

** I never had a pleasanter trip than that one. 
After we got to sea the young lady turned out to be 

804 Cabbages and Kings 

the j oiliest ever. The very first time we sat down to 
dinner, and the steward filled her glass with cham- 
pagne — that director's yacht was a regular floating 
Waldorf-Astoria — she winks at me and says, 
'What's the use to borrow trouble, Mr. Fly Cop? 
Here's hoping you may live to eat the hen that 
scratches on your grave.' There was a piano on 
board, and she sat down to it and sung better than you 
give up two cases to hear plenty times. She knew 
about nine operas clear through. She was sure 
enough bon ton and swell. She wasn't one of the 
* among others present ' kind ; she belonged on 
the special mention list ! 

" The old man, too, perked up amazingly on the 
way. He passed the cigars, and says to me once, quite 
chipper, out of a cloud of smoke, * Mr. O'Day, some- 
how I think the Republic Company will not give me 
the much trouble. Guard well the gripvalise of the 
money, Mr. O'Day, for that it must be returned to 
them that it belongs when we finish to arrive.' 

" When we landed in New York I 'phoned to the 
chief to meet, us in that director's ofiice. We got in 
a cab and went there. I carried the grip, and we 
walked in, and I was pleased to see that the chief had 
got together that same old crowd of moneybugs with 
pink faces and white vests to see us march in. I 

Two Recalls 805 

set the grip on the table. * There's the money,' I 

"*And your prisoner?' said the chief. 

** I pointed to Mr. Wahrfield, and he stepped for- 
ward and says: 

** * The honour of a word with you, sir, to explain.' 

** He and the chief went into another room and 
stayed ten minutes. When they came back the chief 
looked as black as a ton of coal. 

" * Did this gentleman,' he says to me, * have this 
valise in his possession when you first saw him? ' 

" ' He did,' said I. 

" The chief took up the grip and handed it to the 
prisoner with a bow, and says to the director crowd: 
* Do any of you recognize this gentleman ? ' 

" They all shook their pink faces. 

" * Allow me to present,' he goes on, * Senor Mira- 
flores, president of the republic of Anchuria. The 
senor has generously consented to overlook this out- 
rageous blunder, on condition that we undertake to 
secure him against the annoyance of public comment. 
It is a concession on his part to overlook an insult for 
which he might claim international redress. I think 
we can gratefully promise him secrecy in the matter.' 

" They gave him a pink nod all round. 

" * O'Day,' he says to me. * As a private detective 

806 Cabbages and Kings 

you're wasted. In a war, where kidnapping govern- 
ments Is in the rules, you'd be invaluable. Come 
down to the office at eleven.' 

" I knew what that meant. 

" * So that's the president of the monkeys,' says I. 
* Well, why couldn't he have said so? ' 

"Wouldn't it jar you?" 


Vaudeville is intrinsically episodic and discon- 
tinuous. Its audiences do not demand denouements. 
Sufficient unto each '' turn " is the evil thereof. No 
one cares how many romances the singing comedienne 
may have had If she can capably sustain the limelight 
and a high note or two. The audiences reck not If 
the performing dogs get to the pound the moment 
they have jumped through their last hoop. They do 
not desire bulletins about the possible injuries received 
by the comic bicyclist who retires head-first from the 
stage in a crash of (property) china-ware. Neither 
do they consider that their seat coupons entitle them 
to be instructed whether or no there is a sentiment be- 
tween the lady solo ban joist and the Irish monologist. 
Therefore let us have no lifting of the curtain upon 
a tableau of the united lovers, backgrounded by de- 
feated villainy and derogated by the comic, osculating 
maid and butler, thrown In as a sop to the Cerberi 

of the fifty-cent seats. 


808 Cabbages and Kings 

But our programme ends with a brief " turn '• or 
two; and then to the exits. Whoever sits the show 
out may find, if he will, the slender thread that binds 
together, though ever so slightly, the story that, per- 
haps, only the Walrus will understand. 

Extracts from a letter from the first vice-president 
of the Republic Insurance Company, of New York 
City, to Frank Goodwin, of Coralio, Republic of An-- 

My Dear Mr. Goodwin: — Your communication 
per Messrs. Howland and Fourchet, of New Orleans, 
has reached us. Also their draft on N. Y. for $100,- 
000, the amount abstracted from the funds of this 
company by the late J. Churchill Wahrfield, its for- 
mer president. . • . The officers and directors unite 
in requesting me to express to you their sincere esteem 
and thanks for your prompt and much appreciated 
return of the entire missing sum within two weeks 
from the time of its disappearance. • . • Can assure 
vou that the matter will not be allowed to receive the 
least publicity. . . . Regret exceedingly the distress- 
ing death of Mr. Wahrfield by his own hand, but . . . 
Congratulations on your marriage to Miss Wahrfield 
. . . many charms, winning manners, noble and 

The Vitagraphoscope 809 

womanly nature and envied position in the best metro- 
politan society. . . . 

Cordially yours, 

Lucius E. Applegate, 
First Vice-President the Republic Insurance 

The Vitagraphoscope 

(Moving Pictures) 

The Last Sausage 

Scene — An Artisfs Studio. The artist, a young 
man of prepossessing appearance, sits in a dejected 
attitude, amid a litter of sketches, with his head rest- 
ing upon his hand. An oil stove stands on a pine box 
in the centre of the studio. The artist rises, tightens 
his waist belt to another hole, and lights the stove. 
He goes to a tin bread box, half-hidden by a screen, 
takes out a solitary link of sausage, turns the box up- 
side-down to show that there is no more, and chucks 
the sausage into a frying-pan, which he sets upon the 
stove. The flame of the stove goes out, showing that 
there is no more oil. The artist, in evident despair, 
seizes the sausage, in a sudden access of rage, and 
hurls it violently from him. At the same time a door 
opens, and a man who enters receives the sausage 

810 Cabbages and Kings 

forcibly against his nose. He seems to cry out ; and 
is observed to make a dance step or two, vigorously. 
The newcomer is a ruddy-faced, active, keen-looking 
man, apparently of Irish ancestry. Next he is ob- 
served to laugh immoderately ; he kicks over the stove ; 
he claps the artist (who is vainly striving to grasp his 
hand) vehemently upon the back. Then he goes 
through a pantomime which to the sufficiently Intelli- 
gent spectator reveals that he has acquired large sums 
of money by trading pot-metal hatchets and razors to 
the Indians of the Cordillera Mountains for gold dust. 
He draws a roll of money as large as a small loaf of 
bread from his pocket, and waves it above his head, 
while at the same time he makes pantomime of drink- 
ing from a glass. The artist hurriedly secures his 
hat, and the two leave the studio together. 

The Writing on the Sands 

Scene — The Beach at Nice. A woman, beauti- 
ful, still young, exquisitely clothed, complacent, 
poised, reclines near the water, idly scrawling letters 
in the sand with the staff of her silken parasol. The 
beauty of her face is audacious ; her languid pose is 
one that you feel to be Impermanent — you wait, ex- 
pectant, for her to spring or glide or crawl, like a 

The Vitagraphoscope 811 

panther thui has unaccountably become stock-still. 
She idly scrawis in the sand; and the word that she 
always writes in " Isabel." A man sits a few yards 
away. You can see that they are companions, even 
if no longer comrades. His face is dark and smooth, 
and almost inscrutable — but not quite. The two 
speak little together. The man also scratches on the 
sand with his cane. And tne word that he writes is 
" Anchuria." And thvm he looks out where the Med- 
iterranean and the sky intermingle, with death in his 

The Wilderness and Thou 

Scene — The Borders of a Gentleman^s Estate in 
a Tropical Land, An old Indian, with a mahogany- 
coloured face, is trimming the grass on a grave by a 
mangrove swamp. Presently he rises to his feet and 
walks slowly toward a grove that is shaded by the 
gathering, brief twilight. In the edge of the grove 
stand a man who is stalwart, with a kind and courte- 
ous air, and a woman of a serene and clear-cut loveli- 
ness. When the old Indian comes up to them the 
man drops money in his hand. The grave-tender, 
with the stolid pride of his race, takes it as his due, 
and goes his way. The two in the edge of the grove 

812 Cabbages and Kings 

turn back along the dim pathway, and walk close, 
close — for, after all, what Is the world at its best 
but a little round field of the moving pictures with, 
two walking together in it? 



13 ' 

This book should be returned to 
the Library on or before the last date 
stamped below. 

A fine of five cents a day is incurred 
by retaining it beyond the specified 

Please return promptly. 


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I .flEC2:.3 J»9i- I 

BOOK Dl E ^ 



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